Labour urges data watchdog to investigate Shapps
The Labour Party has written to the statistics watchdog calling for an investigation into the use of figures by the housing minister.
In a letter to the chair of the UK Statistics Authority, economist Andrew Dilnot, shadow housing minster Jack Dromey accuses Grant Shapps of a ‘casual attitude to accuracy’ and ‘consistent misrepresentation and misuse of statistics’.
He lists six specific examples of these ‘misrepresentations’, and asks for the body to give its views on each use of statistics. He also calls for a ‘formal assessment’ of the statistics produced by the Homes and Communities Agency and Tenant Services Authority.
In response Mr Shapps described the attack as an ‘incomprehensible rant’ and repeated his controversial claim about the Labour government that ‘no-one did more to destroy our nation’s homes since the Luftwaffe bombs of World War II’.
The letter is the second attempt by Labour politicians to get the UK Statistics Authority to look at Mr Shapps’ use of figures. Former housing minister Nick Raynsford wrote to Mr Dilnot’s predecessor, Sir Michael Scholar, raising similar concerns.
In a response sent in January this year Mr Scholar said selective use of housing figures could make it appear they had been used in a misleading manner.