UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick must step down over claims he "unlawfully" approved a £30 million development by a Tory donor, a Scots MP says.

The claims emerged last night in the Huffington Post.

It revealed the Metropolitan Police is “assessing” an allegation about Jenrick after he approved a controversial £1 billion east London development proposed by a firm owned by Conservative Party donor and publishing tycoon Richard Desmond.

It involves turning the former Westferry Printworks — which was the Daily Express printworks and is now owned by Desmond's company Northern & Shell — into 1500 homes.

Jenrick signed that off after the local council and independent Planning Inspectorate both ruled it should be refused because it lacked affordable housing and clashed with local conservation policy.

Jenrick's decision was made on the eve of a local levy change that would have required the property owner to pay £30million-£50m more to the council.

The move is aimed at improving services and mitigating the impact of development on the area.

However, Jenrick's actions meant Desmond's firm avoided having to hand the cash over.

The council began legal action in March over alleged bias in the timinig of the decision and asked the High Court ot force the hand-over of government documents on the matter.

Jenrick then agreed his determination had been "unlawful by reason of apparent bias" and planning permission should be cancelled and handled by a different minister.

In a subsequent interview, he said the decision had been made "without any actual bias" but acknowledged "concerns" over "the way that the process was run".

Last week the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “While we reject the suggestion that there was any actual bias in the decision, we have agreed that the application will be redetermined.”

Now the SNP have called on Jenrick to step down until the police process ends.

Daivd Linden, shadow spokesperson for housing, communities and local government, said: “Robert Jenrick’s latest scandal only adds to the credibility problem that the Tories have — and confirms that their narrow political ideology is put before following the rules. 

The National:

“The UK Government clearly thinks there can be one set of rules for the public and another for those in positions of power.

“It absolutely stinks that a serving UK minister admits to unlawfully approving a housing development by a party donor, but it’s even more galling that he does not step down while the police investigation takes place.

“It’s time for Robert Jenrick to step aside while the police investigate these allegations.”

Jenrick's office has been approached for comment.