Former housing minister Nick Raynsford says prime minister should avoid populist decision making

Former housing minister Nick Raynsford has become the latest MP to turn on prime minister Gordon Brown, accusing him of a “frantic search” for populist policy ideas.

The politician, now chairman of the Strategic Forum for Construction, said proposals to “ditch unpopular taxes or offer dubious incentives” were counterproductive and invited the public’s contempt.

Writing in the New Statesman, the Greenwich MP said: “There is no single ‘Get out of Jail’ card and it is foolish to believe such simplistic solutions will do the trick.”

His comments come after policies such as suspending stamp duty have been openly considered by the government. Today, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) also criticised Downing Street for sending out “confused messages” on tax issues.

The article is the latest blow to the prime minister who is planning an economic recovery package to try and revive his leadership.