MP receives promise from PM on green belt protection

In the last session of Prime Minister's Question before final decisions are made on the Budget, Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, pressed Theresa May to protect the green belt. This exchange between the Barnet MP and the PM is set out in Hansard as follows:

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers

"As I do in Barnet, the Prime Minister represents a constituency in the green belt, so will she assure the House that the Government she leads will never weaken protection for the green belt?"

Rt Hon Theresa May

"We have been very clear about our position in relation to the green belt, and indeed we confirmed that in the housing White Paper that we set out, where we were very clear about that too. We want more homes to be built in this country. It is important that we see more homes being built particularly in London, but there are many opportunities to do that that do not affect the green belt."

Speaking after PMQs, Theresa Villiers said: "There have been a number of reports in the media that the Chancellor was preparing to weaken protection for the green belt. I believe that would be a grave mistake. Many of my constituents very much value the green spaces in Barnet which have green belt protection. They would hate to lose this important 'green lung' for London. So I welcome the Prime Minister's statement that the commitment to the green belt in the Housing White Paper is not going to be watered down. I will continue to fight to protect the green belt in Barnet."