Westferry: Robert Jenrick accuses councils of ‘maladministration’ over planning

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has faced a grilling from MPs on the controversial Westferry development in Tower Hamlets, London.

During a meeting of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Conservative MP Bob Blackman asked whether his views of the council influenced his decision.

Mr Jenrick said it “wasn’t a factor”, but accused some local authorities of “maladministration” by “sitting on” applications rather than rejecting them – including Tower Hamlets.

The housing secretary approved the development just a few days before a new levy would have meant the developer, Conservative Party donor Richard Desmond, would have to pay an estimated £40m in extra charges for infrastructure.