In Boris Johnson’s latest Telegraph column, the Mayor of London has gone off on something of a rant about Labour’s Mansion Tax plans. In it he fulminates against Labour, suggesting that people won’t build conservatories (or something) because of the Mansion Tax. To read Johnson’s piece, you’d think that everyone lived in a multi-million pound pile (perhaps even that £2 million was a perfectly average house price).
But in amongst the anger, there’s also a significant error. Boris – who makes such a great play of his alleged housing credentials, doesn’t know who the Housing Minister is. The column says (emphasis mine):
“If you listen to Nick Boles, the housing minister, you can see that he understands the urgency of the problem. The Treasury understand it, and George Osborne knows that Tories win elections when they help aspirant people get the homes they need – and it is time to return to the great Tory building programmes of the Fifties, but with beautiful standards and on brownfield sites.”
The problem is, Nick Boles isn’t the Housing Minister – he’s the Planning Minister. Mark Prisk is the Housing Minister. Maybe if Boris were more on top of his brief as Mayor of London and spent less time writing nonsensical (albeit lucrative) invective for the Telegraph, he’d know that. After all he should be meeting with the Housing Minister fairly often to discuss London’s huge housing needs – right?