Conservative MPs attack the Greater London Authority Bill, warning it will allow London mayor to override local views

London mayor Ken Livingstone’s attempt to obtain more planning powers came under fire in the House of Commons last night.

The new powers, which are part of the Greater London Authority Bill, will also enable the mayor to make decisions on housing and climate change.

Conservative MPs criticised the bill, warning that it would bring the mayor into conflict with local authorities and would allow the mayor to override the views of local people.

Housing and Planning Minister Yvette Cooper said the extra powers would allow the mayor 'to do his job''.

In a statement, Livingstone urged all parties to back the bill. He said: "Those who oppose this tidying up of the planning process will block more affordable homes for Londoners.

"Under the planning proposals, borough councils will still decide over 99% of all planning applications, with the Mayor having a new right to approve a very small number of major applications of London-wide importance.

"My priority will be to use these powers to stop councils obstructing plans for new affordable homes for Londoners."