SPF dinner

Davidson says Starmer’s building plan ‘makes sense’

Baroness Davidson: backing Starmer’s stance (pic: Terry Murden)

Tory peer Ruth Davidson has called for a political consensus around Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s rebuilding Britain strategy.

Baroness Davidson, the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives, last night told a gathering of property professionals and advisers that his speech to the Labour conference “was one that people need to put their shoulders behind.”

She said there was much to like about his plan for new towns, the future of the green belt, speeding up planning and the presumption to build.

“It made a lot of sense and we should be big enough to say that,” she said.

Speaking at the Scottish Property Federation’s annual dinner in Edinburgh she referenced recent policy failures and said the public wanted politicians to work together on large scale projects.

“People are tired of the ever louder shouting about Brexit and independence when there is work to be done,” she said, saying there were initiatives such as the new investment zones and workplace training that should bring parties together to build the economy.

She said she expects growth to be on the agenda for SNP conference “as there are too many flashing lights ahead of the Budget”.

Maria Franckes, Ruth Davidson, Melanie Leech at SPF dinner
SPF chair Maria Francke, Baroness Davidson and BPF chief executive Melanie Leech (pic: Terry Murden)

Commenting on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s changes to the Net Zero timetable she said “government should be better at this”.

She called for a reframing of the agenda towards seizing the opportunities it presents, including new, higher paid jobs.

Alasdair Humphery, who has recently retired from JLL and is a past chair of the Scottish Property Federation, was presented with the inaugural life membership award.

Alasdair Humphery flanked by Melanie Leech of the British Property Federation and Baroness Davidson (pic: Terry Murden)

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “Alasdair has been a stalwart supporter and adviser to the Scottish Property Federation over his 15 years as head of Scotland for JLL and as our chair during 2013-14, which included leading us during the Scottish independence referendum year. He did all this while leading a major property advisory business in Scotland.

“His expert awareness of perceptions of Scotland from the critical wider international investment community have been, and remain, hugely valued not just by us, but also by our public stakeholders.”

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