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Govt ‘caved in to vested interests’ on no-fault evictions, deputy Labour leader says

Govt ‘caved in to vested interests’ on no-fault evictions, deputy Labour leader says
Anna Sagar
Written By:
Anna Sagar

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner (pictured) said that the Government has “caved in to vested interests” of its backbenchers around no-fault evictions.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions today, Rayner said: “The reality is he caved into vested interests on his backbenches and delayed justice… This week, the housing minister says there is no solid date for banning no-fault evictions, and the housing secretary now says it won’t happen before an election.”

Rayner said that millions of families were at risk of homelessness due to the Government not banning this “cruel practice”.

She continued: “Instead of the obsessing over my house, when will he get a grip and show the same obsession with ending no-fault evictions?”

Rayner is referring to questions arising around whether she paid the right amount of capital gains tax on the council house she sold in 2015. The police have opened an investigation into the affair.

She called on Oliver Dowden, deputy Prime Minister who was stepping in for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, to name a specific date for no-fault evictions, with Dowden retorting that the House of Commons would be voting on the Renters Reform Bill today.

Dowden said: “On the issue of no-fault evictions… we will be voting on exactly that matter later today, the Conservative Government taking action.”

He continued that “in line with our manifesto, we will deliver on that commitment”.

Leaseholds are a ‘rip-off and a con’

Rayner continued that leaseholds were a “rip-off and a con” and it was another Tory “failure” that the proposed ban on new leaseholds only applies to houses, not flats, when the majority of leaseholds are flats.

“What’s the point [of] a ban on new leaseholds if it won’t apply to flats?” she said.

Dowden hit back that leasehold legislation had been introduced by the Government and the Labour party had “totally failed to introduce in their entire time in office”.

He went on to point to the Government reducing the social homes waiting list and strong affordable homes delivery, which is not directly related to leasehold.

“After 14 years, they have failed renters, they’ve failed leaseholders and they’ve failed mortgage holders,” Rayner said.

The Renters Reform Bill has returned for its third reading today, with many concerned that it would water down proposals around no-fault evictions and other issues, while a campaign group pulled its support for the bill earlier today.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, had said earlier this year that no-fault evictions would be banned by the next election, but his comments today seem to backtrack on that promise.

However, in a report on the BBC yesterday, Gove said that he “hopes” no-fault evictions will be banned in the Renters Reform Bill, but it was dependent on the House of Lords.

The third reading of the Renters Reform Bill is taking place today.