Sunak to Drop ‘Freeze Greenbelt Forever’ Pledge from Leadership Campaign


Rishi Sunak is set to ditch his flagship Conservative leadership campaign pledges, as No 10 admitted there would be a review to assess whether they were still “deliverable” as a result of the worsening economic backdrop.

The prime minister’s press secretary said ministers “need to look again” at a slew of promises made over the summer during Sunak’s losing battle with Liz Truss for the Tory leadership, but there was no end date to the review.

Other pledges include promises to protect the greenbelt from planning laws, ..and reviewing and repealing all retained EU law within 100 days.

“We are looking at all the campaign pledges and we are looking at whether it is the right time to take them forward,” Sunak’s spokesperson said. “We need to take some time to make sure what is deliverable and what is possible, and engaging with stakeholders and with the relevant secretaries of state as well.

“Obviously, those are pledges that were made a few months ago now and the context is somewhat different, obviously, economically. We’re not making commitments right now either way. We need to look again.”

The dumb pledge from 27/7

Mr Sunak told The Telegraph he would review planning laws to stop local authorities from requesting changes to green belt boundaries in order to release land for development.

Since 2016, the size of the green belt has reduced by more than 60 square miles.

“Green belt land is extremely precious in the UK,” he said. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen too many examples of local councils circumventing the views of residents by taking land out of the green belt for development, but I will put a stop to it.”

Dumb because it would freeze Green Belt forever however exceptional te circumstances, and push sprawl beyond it. It would no longer perform a strategic planning function but a purely political nimbyistic one.