Boris Johnson Accused Of Lying 'Yet Again' With Social Housing Boast

A spokesman for the mayor of London said: “The prime minister is wrong – plain and simple."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Ian West - PA Images via Getty Images

Boris Johnson has been accused of lying “yet again” after claiming that he built more social housing in London than any other mayor.

The prime minister made the boast as he unveiled the government’s new housing policy last week.

Johnson claimed he built more social housing in London than his predecessor Ken Livingstone and the current mayor Sadiq Khan.

Speaking in Blackpool, Johnson - who was mayor from 2008 till 2016 - told journalists: “Never forget, and if anybody asks about social housing, you know I built more social housing than the Labour mayor, the previous one and the current one.”

However, mayor Khan hit back, insisting his administration is building more homes than at any time “since records began”.

Khan said council home building was currently at highest level since 1970s and overall affordable housebuilding was also at its highest level on record.

Meanwhile, the deputy mayor for housing Tom Copley said Khan had consistently delivered far more homes in London per year than Johnson did “in any year of his mayoralty”.

A spokesperson for the mayor of London said: “The prime minister is wrong – plain and simple.

“The truth is Sadiq has overseen a resurgence in council homebuilding in the capital. Last year, work started on more council homes in London than in any year since 1979, and more than during the entire eight years Boris Johnson was mayor.

“Sadiq is ensuring the new homes more Londoners can afford are being built in every borough, and completions are now at their highest level in the last decade. This has been achieved against a backdrop of Brexit, the pandemic and the most anti-London government in history.

“The mayor urges the prime minister to put aside petty point scoring and instead recognise the progress being made in London, which can be used as a template to build more of the homes this country desperately needs.”

Charity Full Fact also looked into another claim the prime minister made during his Blackpool speech when he said: “We built more affordable homes in one year of the incoming Conservative government after 2010 - or coalition government - than the Labour party did in 13 years in office.”

However, they said it was not true, adding: “There is no generally agreed definition of affordable housing, but by the total measure used on the government’s own data for England, the number of affordable homes built during Labour’s 13 years in office was far higher than in any single year since.”

Full Fact said: “According to data from the department for levelling up, housing and communities, 557,217 new affordable homes were completed in England in the 13 years between 1997/98 and 2009/10, inclusive.

“This is far higher than the total completed in 2010/11 (which was 61,089), or in any subsequent year - the highest of which was 2014/15, when 65,959 new affordable homes were completed in England.”

No.10 has been approached for comment.

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