Hughes condemns council house idea
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes has warned the Prime Minister that fixed-term council tenancy agreements "in no way represent the policy of the coalition".
Mr Hughes said David Cameron's ideas for ending "council houses for life" had not been discussed within the coalition and "certainly do not represent the policy of Liberal Democrats".
He said the party would be willing to talk about the suggestion but warned that MPs would "not be backward in expressing our personal and collective views".
Mr Cameron floated the idea at a public question and answer session in Birmingham yesterday.
He said there should be "fixed-term" tenancy deals so residents could be moved on after "five or 10 years" if their circumstances change - rather than living in a council home "forever".
In a statement, Mr Hughes said: "Council tenancy agreements have not been discussed by the coalition, and any idea or proposal floated so far is nothing more than that - an idea or a proposal and not a policy.
"So the ideas put forward by David Cameron this week in no way represent the policy of the coalition and certainly do not represent the policy of Liberal Democrats. There was no mention of this issue in either election manifesto or the coalition agreement.
"All Liberal Democrats will continue to support stable and cohesive communities where people have the security of knowing that they will continue to have a home. We will not let anybody have their homes taken away."
He said the biggest housing priority should be "urgently to increase the supply of good quality, energy efficient and secure homes".
"Of course Liberal Democrats are willing to talk to our coalition partners and anybody else about any ideas for council housing," he added.