April 24, 2024

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Rayner questioned Dowden about housing pressures during PMQs.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, criticized the government’s housing policies during her appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions. She expressed concerns over homeowners struggling with mortgages and renters facing insecurity. Specifically, Rayner questioned Deputy PM Oliver Dowden about the government’s plans to ban no-fault evictions. Dowden assured MPs that the government supported both renters and mortgage holders and had introduced legislation to provide greater security for renters. However, the Renters (Reform) Bill, which aims to prevent landlords from evicting tenants without justification, has not yet been debated in Parliament.

Angela Rayner and Oliver Dowden were standing in for their respective party leaders, Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak, who were attending an NHS celebration. They will meet again the following week as the prime minister will be attending a NATO Summit. Rayner began her questions by challenging the Conservatives’ claim of being the “party of homeownership,” highlighting the financial concerns faced by families due to rising mortgage rates.

Dowden expressed support for the Bank of England’s efforts to address inflation through interest rate increases. He cited the International Monetary Fund’s assessment, which commended the UK’s “decisive and responsible action” in tackling inflation. In contrast, he claimed that a Labour government would resort to excessive borrowing, leading to further price hikes.

Rayner argued that renters would suffer as landlords passed on the increased mortgage costs to tenants. She also highlighted a significant rise in no-fault evictions in 2023 and questioned when the government would fulfill its promise to ban them, as stated in their 2019 manifesto.

During the session, Labour MP Helen Hayes shared the tragic case of one of her constituents, a first-year university student who took his own life. The student had signed a tenancy agreement that stated his parents, acting as guarantors, would still be responsible even in the event of his death. Hayes urged Dowden to address this issue and protect bereaved families through the Renters Reform Bill. Dowden acknowledged the case as abhorrent and committed to discussing measures to address it.

Overall, Rayner used her time at Prime Minister’s Questions to criticize the government’s housing record, emphasizing concerns over mortgages, renters’ security, and the need to ban no-fault evictions.