A political row has erupted over comments made by the councillor in charge of housing that Bradford Council would “stand up to the middle classes” in the battle over the development of greenfield sites.

Bradford East Liberal Democrat MP David Ward has accused Councillor Val Slater, the executive member for housing and planning, of indulging in “class warfare” as the process begins of where to build the 45,500 new homes said to be needed by 2028.

As reported in the Telegraph & Argus, Coun Slater told a meeting of Bradford Property Forum this week that she was prepared to be seen as “the devil’s disciple” in the eyes of hundreds of campaigners fighting housing plans on greenfield sites across the Bradford district.

And she warned that she and other councillors would be locking horns with “middle class” protesters.

But Mr Ward said Coun Slater was “declaring war on hard-working citizens of Bradford who have contacted their representatives to make democratic objections to plans for developments”.

He said: “Finding a suitable solution to the housing problem in Bradford should have nothing to do with class, and Coun Slater’s comments sound more like class warfare than a positive solution.

“Everyone, regardless of background, is entitled to suitable housing. The attitude that one group needs to step on another’s interests to get what they want is dated and counterproductive.”

For more on this story, see today's T&A