MICHAEL Gove has been accused of presiding over a “shambles” in local authorities and failing to develop social housing south of the Border.

The SNP have attacked the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for a series of failures.

This includes stubbornly high poverty levels in London – as a quarter of those living in the city fall into this category, with high housing costs said to be a major factor.

But the biggest builders of social housing in London are on track to start building just 1769 homes in the capital, a fall of 76% from the 7363 started in the previous year.

READ MORE: Is council tax frozen in my local area? See the full list

The G15, which is made up of London's leading housing associations, warned last month that housebuilding in London is “grinding to a halt”.

In a letter to Gove, they wrote: “Your recent interventions do not go far enough to address what, by your own admission, is a broken system.

“Despite the crisis facing Londoners, the Government has failed to step up and invest in the delivery of social housing.”

Meanwhile the SNP highlighted that a number of councils in England have recently had to effectively declare bankruptcy – including Slough, Woking, Birmingham, Nottingham, Croydon and Thurrock.

Earlier this month, Birmingham announced multiple cuts to services, with council tax to rise by 21% over two years.

The National:

SNP MSP Stuart McMillan (above) said: "Under Michael Gove's leadership, many local authorities in England are in financial ruin and social housing development is a shambles.

READ MORE: 100,000 affordable homes built since SNP came to power, figures reveal

"Where in Scotland, council tax has been frozen under the SNP government, cash-strapped councils in England are implementing brutal council tax hikes, including an incredible 21% over two years in Birmingham.

"Meanwhile in London, the construction of affordable homes is grinding to a halt under the Tory government – the contrast to the picture in Scotland under the SNP where more 100,000 affordable homes have been built couldn't be clearer.”

He added: "Labour councils in Scotland may think Michael Gove is their friend – but the reality is that under his watch, local authorities in England are crumbling – showing that only the SNP can be trusted to deliver more affordable housing, effectively fund local councils and support households through the cost of living crisis."

On Thursday, Gove faced a backlash after naming a string of groups which could be checked against the Government’s new definition of extremism.

In the Commons, the Communities Secretary used parliamentary privilege to tell MPs he had concerns about the “Islamist orientation” of three Muslim-led organisations and said two far-right groups promoted a “neo-Nazi ideology”.

But one of the organisations Cage – which Gove said he had concerns about while stopping short of calling the group “extremist” – accused the UK Government of “exploiting fears against Muslims” by unveiling a new definition of extremism.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has been contacted for comment.