Defections of traditional Tories are believed to have been motivated by the damage done by Brexit to small businesses and distaste for the Johnson administration’s “culture war” messaging as well as by proposed planning reforms which critics warn will put the green belt at risk from development and which have raised concern from organisations like the National Trust and Council for Protection of Rural England.
In a letter to Tory by-election candidate Peter Fleet, Lib Dem MP Layla Moran urged him to condemn the government’s approach, writing: “Over the last two years the Conservative Party has received over £11m in donations from property developers.
“Local people are right to be angry at a Conservative Party that chooses to champion those who seek to build on the green belt rather than the views of local people in Chesham and Amersham.”
I should stress there are currently no local plan proposals for Green Belt loss in the area, this is about whipping up a generalized fear, like UKIP used to do targeting seats with virtually no immigration, as if there was any threat to the Chilterns AONB. This is short termist strategy at its worst, entirely evidence free and removed from the realities of government and the need for progressive politics to meet needs. The lib dem have become the dumb anti-development party.