The approval of a party donor’s development plans by the housing secretary is a “classic Tory sleaze scandal” an SNP MP has claimed.

Robert Jenrick has faced growing pressure about the decision to give the go-ahead to former media mogul Richard Desmond to build housing at London’s Westferry Printworks.

In the House of Commons yesterday, Labour’s motion calling for the Government to release “all relevant information” relating to the decision was approved, following claims Mr Jenrick had given the billionaire preferential treatment.

The development for 1500 homes had been initially turned down by the council, but the Conservative party received a £12,000 donation from the mogul two weeks after Mr Jenrick gave it the green light.

The SNP’s communities spokesman David Linden said the approval was “a classic Tory sleaze scandal that involves money and the Conservatives scratching one another’s backs.”

The MP for Glasgow East continued: “I do not like the all-too-frequent fixture in our politics of calling for ministerial resignations left, right and centre.

“However, in this case the conduct of the Secretary of State is seriously called into question when he himself has acknowledged that this decision was made unlawfully.

“In any other circumstance, this would already be difficult territory for the Secretary of State to try to wriggle off the hook, but the fact that this £1 billion housing development is linked to a Tory donor means it stinks—and it stinks, frankly, to high heavens.”

Labour’s shadow communities secretary Steve Reed asked more about a Tory Party fundraising dinner in November 2019 attended by both Mr Jenrick and Mr Desmond.

He said: “I understand Mr Desmond’s lobbyists, a company called Thorncliffe, had been busy selling tickets to the event to people who wanted access to the Secretary of State.”

“Ministers are not allowed to take planning decisions if they have been lobbied by the applicant and, under the ministerial code, ministers are required not to place themselves under an obligation by, for instance, helping to raise funds from a donor who stands to benefit from the decisions they make because it raises questions about cash for favours – which would be a serious abuse of power.”

Mr Jenrick told MPs that he would outline the rationale for his decision-making by releasing documents.

He accused Labour of making “wild accusations” against him and claimed the documents would show a decision was taken with an “open mind” on the merits of the case.

Mr Jenrick has since had to quash his own approval, conceding the decision was “unlawful”.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Jenrick said: “I will write to the chair of the select committee outlining the timeline of events and the rationale for my decision-making pertaining to the Westferry Printworks planning decision.

“Alongside this letter, and after a comprehensive review of what documents might be in scope of this motion, and of the letter that he sent me on behalf of his select committee, I will be releasing later today all relevant information relating to this planning matter using the Freedom of Information Act as a benchmark.

“I recognise that there are higher standards of transparency expected in the quasi-judicial planning process which is why I will also release discussions and correspondence which the Government would not normally release.

“These documents show that contrary to the wild accusations and the baseless innuendo propagated by the honourable gentleman (Steve Reed) opposite, and restated today in a series of totally inaccurate statements and comments, this was a decision taken with an open mind on the merits of the case after a thorough decision-making process.”

The heated session also saw Mr Jenrick demand a retraction by Labour’s Nadia Whittome after she indirectly accused him of corruption.

She said:“Transparency International has said of corruption in the UK ‘although corruption is not endemic in the UK, it is correct to say that in some areas of UK society and institutions corruption is a much greater problem than recognised’ and that there is an inadequate response.”

Mr Jenrick called on Ms Whittome to “withdraw that immediately”, which she did not.