As housebuilding figures show a sharp drop-off in the number of “starts” by housing associations, a critical report has been published by the National Housing Federation and Shelter. They claim that the government is not doing enough to get more homes built, a situation that appears to be borne out by today’s figures.
The report is also interesting because of its sections on homelessness, a phenomenon which appears to be on the rise after many years of welcome decline. Rising homelessness was one of the most negative elements of the Thatcher administration in the 1980s; is it making an unwelcome comeback? Read more
Peter Hain will be breathing a sigh of relief today after the Northern Ireland attorney-general has dropped a legal action against the former Labour cabinet minister. This had involved a controversial chapter criticising a judge in a forthcoming book by Hain, who was Northern Ireland secretary.
Here is the statement from the attorney-general.
“These proceedings were taken to protect public confidence in the administration of justice. They were made necessary by a passage in Mr Hain’s memoirs and by Mr Hain’s refusal until now to reduce the risk to public confidence in the administration of justice arising from that passage. Had Mr Hain responded to the statement issued by the Lord Chief Justice or to our pre-action correspondence in the way that he