Labour attacks 'Minister for Daybreak'

 

He is the Government’s most prolific media operators.

Not even in the Cabinet yet he's churning out press releases at a rate of one every four days and is a regular on the sofas of day time TV and political “chat shows”.

But now Labour has turned its guns on Grant Shapps, dubbed the minister for Daybreak, accusing him of issuing misleading statistics and trying to bolster his media profile with dozens of dubious re-announcements.

The party has compiled a list of almost 200 Government press releases originating from Mr Shapps, whose official job is Housing Minister.

They claim that, of the 200, many are simply duplicates of previous announcements – with nine press releases on the green homes initiative, seven of the right to build and ten on the reforms to council housing.

They have also analysed all the claims contained in the press releases, along with Mr Shapps’ statements in Parliament and have now lodged an official complaint with the Government’s official statistics watchdog.

In a letter to Andrew Dilnot, head of the UK Statistic Authority Jack Dromey, the Shadow Housing Minister, has accused his opposite number of “misrepresenting and misusing” data to score political points.

The letter claims:

*Mr Shapps said that the Coalition had commissioned the building of 270,000 affordable homes – more were built during the entire period of the Labour Government. But Mr Dromey points to official Government statistics that show that over 500,000 affordable homes were built between May 1997 and April 2010.

*The Minister told the House of Commons that the number of houses being built in England was 25 per cent higher last year compared to 2009. Labour claims this is “deliberately and profoundly misleading”. They say Government official figures show that annual housing starts reached 98,250 in the 12 months to December 2011, down by 4 per cent compared with the 12 months to December 2010. They said it was disingenuous to suggest house building was going up even if it compared favorably with house building in a year where the world was in recession.

*Mr Shapps was also accused of putting out a misleading press release on the day that Government statistics showed rough sleeping in England had risen by 23 per cent between 2010 and 2011.Instead of commenting on those figures Mr Shapps press-released altogether different statistics relating to the total number of rough sleepers in London over a year , highlighting the number of non-UK nationals on the streets of London, and warning foreign “Dick Whittingtons” to stay away from Britain.

Mr Dromey has now asked Mr Dilnot to carry out a formal assessment of the statistics produced by agencies working for DCLG.

“The proper use of statistics is vital to the integrity of public debate,” he wrote. “I am deeply concerned by…Grant Shapps’ consistent misrepresentation and misuse of statistics in relation to a housing and homelessness crisis that all political parties agree requires urgent action.”

Last night, Mr Shapps said: “Under the nine Labour Housing Ministers who occupied the post in the last Government, house building plummeted to its lowest level since the 1920s. This catastrophic failure locked millions out of home ownership and taken together with the record debts they created, everyone is still paying the price.

“Perhaps conscious that after two years they've never once called their own House of Commons debate on housing, they resort to boring the stats authority with an incomprehensible rant in the hope that we'll all forget that Labour left housing in a huge mess in this country.“

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum