Political commentator Tim Montgomerie has urged the Tory Government to “get back on the side of homeowners” as mortgage payments are set to soar. Speaking to GB News, Mr Montgomerie, commenting on the seismic lead the Labour Party currently hold in the polls over the incumbent Tories, said the new Prime Minister must calm people’s fears over the loss of their homes to “unwind” that deficit. As the number of home-buyer mortgages soar, the figures suggest Britons are scrambling to lock in mortgage deals ahead of the expected interest rate hikes.
Asked where he thought it all went wrong for Ms Truss, Mr Montgomerie said: “How long have we got? Look, the one thing I will say is the Englishman’s home is his castle.
“The British voters’ attachment to their idea of property and their home is an incredibly big one. And in the last week, we can analyse how it has happened and why it has happened, but in the last week people have been very frightened about their ability either to buy a home or continue to afford their mortgage, or for their own children to get onto the housing ladder.
“The Conservative Party, through its actions, rightly or wrongly, we can blame the markets if we want to, has got to a place where the Englishman’s home, their castle, is under threat.
“And if the Conservatives are going to have any chance of unwinding this massive 33-point lead for Labour, somehow it has to get back on the side of homeowners.
“I do not know whether or not they can do that, but that in essence is why as a Party we have gone through something so seismic by threatening something so core to the identity of the British person and, particularly, the type of person that votes Conservative.”
The number of home-buyer mortgage approvals increased sharply in August, to the highest level since January, according to the Bank of England.
But experts said the jump in loan approvals is likely to reflect people trying to lock into mortgage deals amid expectations of rising interest rates, rather than being evidence of a strengthening in demand.
Some 74,300 approvals were recorded in August, marking an increase from 63,700 in July.
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Founding director of Revolution Brokers, Almas Uddin, said: “Mortgage approvals have continued to climb skyward in recent months, despite mortgage rates increasing in line with numerous base rate hikes by the Bank of England.
“This has been spurred by a sense of urgency from the nation’s home-buyers, who are keen to secure what remain fairly reasonable rates in anticipation of further increases to come this year.”
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey warned on Friday of “mortgage misery” and urged Liz Truss to recall parliament to prevent people from “losing their homes or closing their businesses”.
He said: “Delaying this forecast means shutting the door long after the horse has bolted. Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are allowing the economy to fly blind for two months while their reckless plans cause pension and mortgage misery for millions of British people.”
He added: “Families and businesses can’t afford to wait any longer for this Government to fix their botched, unfair budget. Truss and Kwarteng must cancel the Conservative conference, recall Parliament and propose a new budget now before any more people lose their homes or close their business.”
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