Michael Gove stands by ‘cartel’ comments as he calls for better accessibility into housebuilding market

Mr Gove highlighted the lack of a market as one of the biggest problems within the housebuilding industry

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Michael Gove says he stands his comments likening some of the UK's biggest property developers to a “cartel” during an interview on GB News.

Earlier this year, Mr Gove hit out at some of the larger housing firms in a letter to Conservative activists.

The comments were slammed by many builders, who hit back at the Secretary of State for Housing.

And during a debate on housing on GB News’ On the Money, host Liam Halligan asked Mr Gove to clarify his comments.

Liam Halligan and Michael Gove
Liam Halligan and Michael Gove
Mr Gove has hit out at some of the UK's biggest property developers
Mr Gove has hit out at some of the UK's biggest property developers

Liam said: “Do you think that word (cartel) was justified?”

To which Mr Gove replied: “Yes I do, but in essence what we have is a situation where since the economic crash in 2008, we’ve seen more and more of the homes that have been delivered, being delivered by a small group of big volume house builders.

"One of the problems with that is we don’t have a market, there are barriers to entry, one of them is the planning system.

“Which means that smaller builders, artisan builders, have been locked out of the system.

“And those also meant that developers have been doing a number of things and to my mind, and I’m not criticising them it’s my responsibly to change the system.

Mr Gove continued: “But they’ve been doing a number of things which haven’t exactly worked, wholly in the public interest.

"There’s been a manipulation of the land market in order to keep prices at a particular level.

“And it’s also been the case that some volume house builders have been producing homes that shoddy and low quality.

“And what we need to do is make sure that we have both proper planning reform that allows more market entrance but also to take a wider look at the way in which the land and housing market works in order which its working in the interest of the citizen, not those people that are profiting handsomely.”