London in need of “a bigger Monopoly board” – Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson launches his Conservative Party leadership bid with plans for a ‘no deal’ Brexit, tax cuts for the rich and a promise he will be “extolling the virtues of free market capitalism”. However, rarely seen footage of one of Boris Johnson’s previous bumptious private speeches reveals why the former Mayor of London’s past record on housing policy will get a lot of attention if the 55-year-old achieves his long-cherished ambition to become the Conservative Party leader and Britain’s Prime Minister. In a Berkeley Square speech at the inaugural London Real Estate Forum, Johnson describes housing in London as “one of the most important games of Monopoly ever played”. The speech reveals Johnson’s instinctive support for the unfettered operation of a free market in housing and property in London – and his thinly-veiled ideological contempt for council housing. Paul Coleman reports.

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The ‘council house boy’ and his very British ballots

After his election in 2016, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – the ‘council house boy’ – faces growing demands from council estate residents – threatened by ‘regeneration’ schemes – to be granted a real voice and a decisive vote on whether their homes are demolished or not. 

Finally, two years later, Mayor Khan introduces ballots but it’s a concession laden with conditions. Resident campaigners suspect Khan has ensured ‘regeneration’ deceits lurk in the details of these very British ballots.

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