CALLS for the government's housing minister Robert Jenrick to resign are being echoed in Oxfordshire, following his intervention in a London planning application.

Mr Jenrick stepped in to give planning permission to former media mogul Richard Desmond for a high rise development in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

The permission was given in January, just days ahead of a hike in a tax on property developers in the council borough, which is the poorest in London.

Mr Desmond donated £12,000 to the Conservative party two weeks after the scheme was approved.

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The decision was later challenged by Tower Hamlets council, and scrutiny of Mr Jenrick's actions and correspondence with Mr Desmond have followed in parliament and the media.

The secretary of state has also drawn the ire of the ruling Lib Dem-Green coalition on South Oxfordshire District Council, which has been told it needs to pass its Local Plan by December by him.

The ruling coalition had hoped to make changes to the plan, motivated by tackling climate change and preventing Oxford's green belt from being built on.

Tim Beader, the Lib Dem county councillor for Wheatley said documents detailing the correspondence between the government minister and Mr Desmond 'called into question the probity' the decision over SODC's Local Plan.

And the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon Layla Moran said Mr Jenrick's position was 'completely untenable' after the release of the documents.

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She added: "These documents are further evidence that he rushed through this planning decision to help a Tory donor avoid paying millions in tax.

"This whole grubby saga netted the Conservative party only £12,000, but could have helped Richard Desmond save up to £50 million.

"The public will be appalled at what looks like a clear abuse of power. Robert Jenrick must go and the Conservative Party must hand back this donation."