Tory MP wants urgent debate on “cowboy and dodgy builders”

A Conservative MP has called for ‘disreputable’ construction firms to be blacklisted by the Communities Department and local authorities.

Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP for The Wrekin constituency in Shropshire, announced in the House of Commons that an “urgent debate on cowboy and dodgy builders” was required to protect the green belt.

He said: “Is it not time that the Department for Communities and Local Government had a black list of companies so that it could warn local authorities not to deal with those that destroy wildlife and have disreputable financial backgrounds?”

In particular, Pritchard’s gripe was with Irish contractor Bovale. He said Bovale’s reputation was “at best dodgy”, a reference to accusations made against director Michael Bailey that he had bribed Irish planning minister Ray Burke during the 1980s. He also accused them of “destroying large parts of Shropshire.”

Labour MP Helen Goodman said Pritchard made a “serious point” and said the behaviour of the industry is under consideration by the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform following the Office of Fair Trading’s cover-pricing allegations.