Brick wall distracts viewers during Theresa May speech

Theresa May housing speech

Theresa May’s speech announcing plans to reform housing in England has been overshadowed by her backdrop.

The prime minister stood surrounded by fake bricks as she told young people they’re “right to be angry” at not being able to buy a home.

People on social media couldn’t get over the set though, suggesting Mrs May looked like she was climbing out of a chimney or in a Mario video game.

Brick wall distracts viewers during Theresa May speech
Brick wall distracts viewers during Theresa May speech

The PM used her speech to criticise property developers.

Mrs May, who said home ownership was largely unaffordable to those not backed by “the bank of mum and dad”, was speaking at the National Planning Conference.

But for some people the backdrop reminded them of somewhere else entirely.

And they quickly got busy on Photoshop.

The bricks were clearly meant to show how seriously Mrs May’s government is taking the issue of housing, but some thought the message got lost somewhere.

While others felt it provided quite a throwback vibe.

The prime minister’s reforms target developers who hoard land once they’ve had planning permission approved – something Ed Miliband pointed to as an issue while Labour leader in 2013.

“Across our country there are firms sitting on land waiting for it to accumulate in value and not building on it,” Mr Miliband said at the time.

And it didn’t pass him by when the Conservatives tweeted during the speech.

Image copyrightEd Miliband/Twitter

It’s not the first time a speech by the prime minister has been overshadowed by what’s going on behind her.

At the Conservative Party conference in 2017, her backdrop began to fall apart as she was speaking.

Image copyrightGetty Images
Image caption The letters falling down, as well as Mrs May’s cough, was all anyone could talk about

This speech saw Mrs May point her finger at developers, who she said have a “perverse” financial incentive to hoard land once it had been approved for development rather than actually build on it.

“I want to see planning permissions going to people who are actually going to build houses, not just sit on land and watch its value rise,” she said.

“I expect developers to do their duty to Britain and build the homes our country needs.”

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