SIR David Crausby, MP for Bolton North East, has called for the Government to launch an inquiry into the mis-sold leasehold homes scandal.

Almost three quarters of homes in his constituency were sold as leasehold properties in the most recent year for which date is available, as were almost one in five of all homes in England.

The arrangement, which most commonly applies to flats, means homes are bought but leased, rather than entirely owned.

Leaseholders often also pay ground rent and service charges to the freeholder or marketing agent, and are frequently locked in contracts forcing them to seek permission to make basic alterations or build extensions which require no planning permission.

Sir David is now championing reforms of this model in Parliament joining the Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey MP, in calling for an inquiry.

Sir David said: “Leaseholders have been exploited for decades and we need clear legislation to end this and support for those affected.

"This is extortion, plain and simple, and the Government need to step up and protect homeowners by ending these practices once and for all.”