Mark Prisk, the shadow minister for business and enterprise, accused ministers this week of breaching planning laws for political advantage.

Prisk told the House of Commons that a private meeting in July between Yvette Cooper, the housing minister, and Bill Rammell, the higher education minister, breached planning regulations and could jeopardise the East of England plan.

Rammell, who has campaigned for development in the region, should not have been allowed to meet Cooper as meetings between interested parties at the time were banned. Since then, the government has announced that the previously disallowed development can go ahead.

Prisk said: “I shall be complaining to the authorities. The ministers’ actions undermined the credibility of the planning process.”