- By Paul Seddon & Sam Francis
- From BBC Politics, Liverpool
Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC he was a yambi – “yes in my back yard” – because he was against blocking new homes being built in local areas.
The Labor leader will “bulldoze” restrictive planning rules and override local MPs to build more homes.
Sir Kiir has promised to build 1.5 million homes if elected.
Yambis, Nimbis, the opposite of “not in my back yard,” are pro-housing advocates who want building projects to start near them.
“Obviously we want to work with local communities,” Sir Keir said, but added that “we have to make sure that planning goes up a level so it’s not localised”.
Sir Keir said in an earlier interview that previous governments were too afraid of local opposition to provide the housing the country needed.
Asked if he was a Yimbia by BBC political editor Chris Mason, Sir Keir replied: “Yes.”
“I think it’s very important that we build the homes we need for the future,” Sir Kier added.
He said it was understandable that individual MPs wanted to “stand up” for residents in their local areas.
But he added: “The role of government is obviously different. The role of government is to deliver big projects.”
As a backbench MP, Sir Keir spent his early years outright opposing HS2 for the impact it would have on his central London seat of Holborn and St Pancras.
“The impact of HS2 on my constituency – on residents, businesses and the environment – will be devastating,” he added.
In his speech to Labour’s annual conference on Tuesday, Sir Keir pledged to deliver more homes to “build a new Britain” if elected.
An hour-long speech was interrupted by a protester who showered the Labor leader with lightning on the final day of the four-day meeting in Liverpool.
The party has tried to use the event to show its potential to voters ahead of next year’s expected general elections.
Sir Gair said a victory for Labor, which is leading the polls, would herald a “decade of national renewal” after 13 years of Tory-led government.
At the heart of the talk was a plan to use dedicated state-backed companies to build new towns near English cities, echoing those built by Labor after the Second World War.
He also said it would limit councils’ ability to stop developments on unused urban land where developers could meet criteria in the new planning regulations encouraging Georgian-style townhouse blocks.
In an earlier interview, Sir Gair said Labor in government would work to strike a “balance” between local concerns and the need to build new homes.
“We’re going to do things that previous governments haven’t done,” he said, including “bulldozing away” restrictive planning rules.
“Otherwise, we’ll end up where we are now, which is talking about housing — that’s been the story of the last 13 years — but not really doing much.”
A ‘bombproof’ target
The Labor leader did not say where or how many “new towns” it would build, saying it would hold a six-month consultation inviting bids from councils.
Participating local authorities can place affordable housing units built to meet their housing quotas under the Party’s schemes.
Asked how Labour’s plan was different, Sir Keir said it was aligned with its plans “with a delivery plan”.
Saying his commitments were “heavily tested”, he said he was only prepared to put “bombproof” plans before the voters at the polls.
Sir Keir Starmer is leaving the final Labor conference before a general election on a high note.
The mood among activists in Liverpool was upbeat but cautious, with senior figures warning against overconfidence.
Labour’s top group appeared to avoid making any mistakes that could have helped the Conservatives.