Manchester’s Council Leader, Richard Leese has claimed there is a lack of demand for social housing, in a jaw-dropping interview.
This is despite an urgent social housing waiting list in the city of more than 5,000 people.
In a scathing response, the Liberal Democrat Opposition has said that his time as the city’s top boss is up as his latest comments show “just how out of touch he is”.
In an interview with Manchester Confidential about Manchester’s links to various strands of an Abu Dhabi partnership, Leese was pushed about ethical policy and the Emirate’s expansion into luxury apartments.
In an astonishing response, Leese claimed there had been a lack of demand for social housing, and said, “Until relatively recently we couldn’t fill it.”
This is a stunning admission from the council leader who, until now, has claimed that the reason for the city’s embarrassing lack of affordable and social housing has been down to cuts.
But this is not the first time Labour has been in hot water over its ‘social cleansing plans.”
This time last year, Leese described Christmas as “peak begging season”.
More recently the council claimed soup kitchens organised by communities and outreach teams are a “bad idea”, whilst also fining and trying to sue the homeless, spending £10,000 on one-way tickets to get rid of rough sleepers.
Earlier this year, they were exposed for refusing to build affordable housing and claiming the only way to tackle “offenders” is to fine them, and just days ago, Leese voted against an affordable proportion of a new housing development.
In a damning response, Manchester’s Liberal Democrat Leader John Leech said:
“Barely a day goes by where Labour’s social cleansing plan isn’t exposed as the heartless regime it is, but this one is just baffling – is he living in the same city as us?!
“This city has been experiencing one of the worst homeless crises in decades and to suggest that we haven’t had the demand for social housing is utterly ignorant and shows just how out of touch he is.
“Perhaps he would like to join myself and Liberal Democrat colleagues next time we sleep out on the streets to raise money for homeless charities.
“If this is really how blind he is to one of the biggest crises we’ve ever faced, maybe he should stand down and let someone who wants to pay attention to our city take over.”