Portillo defeat in MoD homes sale

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Michael Portillo, the Defence Secretary, was snubbed by a Tory- dominated Commons select committee when it refused to endorse his decision to sell armed forces homes for pounds 1.6bn to a Japanese consortium.

"This committee is still unable to endorse either the principle of the sale or the choice of the new owner of the estate," said the Commons select committee of defence.

It remained "extremely concerned" about standards in parts of the married quarters estate and demanded urgent progress to improve the quality of accommodation. The sale caused a furore among Tory MPs when it was announced last year, and only went through after guarantees for tenants were written into contracts.