The Conservative Party could be on the brink of a donor crisis after property developers – who account for around a fifth of all donations – say they’re “out on strike” amid claims the party is blocking new house building.
Housebuilding in England is set to fall to the lowest level since the second world war, it has been claimed, with the Home Builders Federation accusing the government of having “anti-development and anti-business” policies which threaten to dramatically slow development.
Ministers watered down local housebuilding targets to avoid what would have been the first major Commons rebellion of Rishi Sunak’s premiership.
The change made a centrally determined target to build 300,000 homes a year a “starting point” or “goal”.
But the move has provoked fury among Tory backers, with one source telling The Times: “I think you might struggle to name a developer who is currently donating.”
Another said: “They [the developer donors] are on strike. And is it any surprise? What a way to spit in their f***ing face.”
While one of the country’s biggest housebuilders Redrow described the government as “anti-housebuilding”.
In an interview with industry publication Building, Steve Morgan, who has given more than £1.25million to the Conservatives, said: “It’s almost like the government wants to destroy the industry.”
It could also be set to hurt the Tories at the polls, too, with Jeremy Hunt’s constituency in danger.
Will Mathias, who lives in Hunt’s constituency and runs a plant nursery, said restrictions on building and a lack of homes for rural residents had left voters feeling “a bit neglected”.
He said: “A lot of rural workers on comparatively low incomes are being forced out because they can’t afford houses that are being bought by people moving out of London.
“It’s inflating house prices to a point where most farm workers can’t afford to live there any longer and I think that will have a detrimental effect.”