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Meet the housing minister who says that repossession "can be the best option"

Picture 1 On the very day that figures were published showing repossessions reaching a 14-year high, housing minister John Healey has made the most extraordinary of statements on BBC Radio 5 Live.

He said:

"For some people it can be the best option for them to allow their home to be repossessed... even in cases [where lenders look at repossessions as a last resort] some families may not be able to keep up with mortgage repayments even if they're re-negotiated and rescheduled. There is no accounting for every circumstance. Repossession is a permanent feature of our system in good times and in bad. In some circumstances it may be the only option available to them."

This is the same John Healey who in December attacked home ownership.

Shadow housing minister, Grant Shapps, has responded angrily:

"Having previously admitted that he thought it was good for home ownership to be falling, it is unbelievable that John Healey has now claimed that repossession can be the best option. Tell that to the 46,000 families who have been booted out of their homes in the past 12 months thanks to Labour's record recession. This proves once again that Labour ministers have completely lost touch with reality."

5pm Update: Grant Shapps has posted an audio clip of Mr Healey's interview

Jonathan Isaby