Tory Lords rebels: the full list

The 91 Tory MPs who voted against the House of Lords reform bill.

1. Adam Afriyie

2. David Amess

3. Steve Baker

4. John Baron

5. Guto Bebb

6. Andrew Bingham

7. Brian Binley

8. Bob Blackman

9. Nicola Blackwood

10. Peter Bone (Teller)

11. Graham Brady

12. Angie Bray

13. Julian Brazier

14. Andrew Bridgen

15. Steve Brine

16. Conor Burns

17. Dan Byles

18. Alun Cairns

19. Bill Cash

20. Christopher Chope

21. James Clappison

22. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

23. Geoffrey Cox

24. Tracey Crouch

25. Philip Davies

26. David Davis

27. Nick De Bois

28. Caroline Dinenage

29. Nadine Dorries

30. Richard Drax

31. George Eustice

32. Mike Freer

33. Richard Fuller

34. Zac Goldsmith

35. James Gray

36. Andew Griffiths

37. Richard Harrington

38. Simon Hart

39. Sir Alan Haselhurst

40. Philip Hollobone

41. Adam Holloway

42. Stewart Jackson

43. Bernard Jenkin

44. Gareth Johnson

45. Chris Kelly

46. Eleanor Laing

47. Dr Phillip Lee

48. Edward Leigh

49. Charlotte Leslie

50. Dr Julian Lewis

51. Ian Liddell-Grainger

52. Peter Lilley

53. Jonathan Lord

54. Karen Lumley

55. Jason McCartney

56. Karl McCartney

57. Anne McIntosh

58. Anne Main

59. Louise Mensch

60. Patrick Mercer

61. Penny Mordaunt

62. James Morris

63. Jesse Norman

64. David Nuttall

65. Matthew Offord

66. Mark Pawsey

67. Andrew Percy

68. Christopher Pincher

69. John Redwood

70. Jacob Rees Mogg

71. Simon Reevel

72. Sir Malcolm Rifkind

73. Laurence Robertson

74. Andrew Rossindell

75. David Ruffley

76. Richard Shepherd

77. Nicholas Soames

78. Bob Stewart

79. Rory Stewart

80. Gary Streeter

81. Graham Stuart

82. Sir Peter Tapsell

83. David Tredinnick

84. Andrew Tyrie

85. Charles Walker

86. Robin Walker

87. Robert Walter

88. Chris White

89. Craig Whittaker (Teller)

90. John Whittingdale

91. Nadhim Zahawi

Louise Mensch was one of 91 Conservative MPs to vote against the House of Lords reform bill. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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The tale of Battersea power station shows how affordable housing is lost

Initially, the developers promised 636 affordable homes. Now, they have reduced the number to 386. 

It’s the most predictable trick in the big book of property development. A developer signs an agreement with a local council promising to provide a barely acceptable level of barely affordable housing, then slashes these commitments at the first, second and third signs of trouble. It’s happened all over the country, from Hastings to Cumbria. But it happens most often in London, and most recently of all at Battersea power station, the Thames landmark and long-time London ruin which I wrote about in my 2016 book, Up In Smoke: The Failed Dreams of Battersea Power Station. For decades, the power station was one of London’s most popular buildings but now it represents some of the most depressing aspects of the capital’s attempts at regeneration. Almost in shame, the building itself has started to disappear from view behind a curtain of ugly gold-and-glass apartments aimed squarely at the international rich. The Battersea power station development is costing around £9bn. There will be around 4,200 flats, an office for Apple and a new Tube station. But only 386 of the new flats will be considered affordable

What makes the Battersea power station development worse is the developer’s argument for why there are so few affordable homes, which runs something like this. The bottom is falling out of the luxury homes market because too many are being built, which means developers can no longer afford to build the sort of homes that people actually want. It’s yet another sign of the failure of the housing market to provide what is most needed. But it also highlights the delusion of politicians who still seem to believe that property developers are going to provide the answers to one of the most pressing problems in politics.

A Malaysian consortium acquired the power station in 2012 and initially promised to build 517 affordable units, which then rose to 636. This was pretty meagre, but with four developers having already failed to develop the site, it was enough to satisfy Wandsworth council. By the time I wrote Up In Smoke, this had been reduced back to 565 units – around 15 per cent of the total number of new flats. Now the developers want to build only 386 affordable homes – around 9 per cent of the final residential offering, which includes expensive flats bought by the likes of Sting and Bear Grylls. 

The developers say this is because of escalating costs and the technical challenges of restoring the power station – but it’s also the case that the entire Nine Elms area between Battersea and Vauxhall is experiencing a glut of similar property, which is driving down prices. They want to focus instead on paying for the new Northern Line extension that joins the power station to Kennington. The slashing of affordable housing can be done without need for a new planning application or public consultation by using a “deed of variation”. It also means Mayor Sadiq Khan can’t do much more than write to Wandsworth urging the council to reject the new scheme. There’s little chance of that. Conservative Wandsworth has been committed to a developer-led solution to the power station for three decades and in that time has perfected the art of rolling over, despite several excruciating, and occasionally hilarious, disappointments.

The Battersea power station situation also highlights the sophistry developers will use to excuse any decision. When I interviewed Rob Tincknell, the developer’s chief executive, in 2014, he boasted it was the developer’s commitment to paying for the Northern Line extension (NLE) that was allowing the already limited amount of affordable housing to be built in the first place. Without the NLE, he insisted, they would never be able to build this number of affordable units. “The important point to note is that the NLE project allows the development density in the district of Nine Elms to nearly double,” he said. “Therefore, without the NLE the density at Battersea would be about half and even if there was a higher level of affordable, say 30 per cent, it would be a percentage of a lower figure and therefore the city wouldn’t get any more affordable than they do now.”

Now the argument is reversed. Because the developer has to pay for the transport infrastructure, they can’t afford to build as much affordable housing. Smart hey?

It’s not entirely hopeless. Wandsworth may yet reject the plan, while the developers say they hope to restore the missing 250 units at the end of the build.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

This is a version of a blog post which originally appeared here.

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