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Anti-letting agent MP today bids for Labour deputy post

Nominations for Labour’s deputy leadership race close at midday today with Stella Creasy, an MP who has campaigned fiecely against letting agents’ fees on tenants, one of the most highly-tipped candidates.

The six nominees, all MPs, require at least 15 per cent of the parliamentary Labour party’s backing - equivalent to 35 MPs including themselves - in order to progress beyond today’s stage.

Earlier this year the Walthamstow MP handed out awards to the best - and worst - lettings and sales agents in her constituency, and last year she used her role in the old Labour opposition front bench to criticise the use of “introductory fees” being levied by estate agents in some sales hot spots.

“How can you be acting in the interest of the seller if you are also making money from the buyer? This practice to me looks unfair. The behaviour of estate agents doing this needs to be challenged” she said at the time.

Creasy also opposed the coalition’s decision to shift responsibility for agency overview from the defunct Office of Fair Trading to the NTSEAT at Powys.

She has also been involved in a number of Twitter-spats with Eric Walker, the managing director of Northwood UK and founder member of SAFEagent. 

One heated exchange – which involved literally scores of tweets written over more than two hours – began when Walker expressed doubt that a claim made by Creasy in a local TV programme was factually correct.

Creasy referred to a £4,000 fee levied by a lettings agent. Walker corrected that to say the figure included a deposit.
 
There then followed a heated exchange of comments, with Creasy becoming increasingly agitated. Some of her comments to Walker on Twitter included “Don’t you dare accused me of scaring people about the problems we see here!” and advised him to “...perhaps, just perhaps, do some homework...” and “you really don’t get what’s going on here, do you?”
 
Walker himself was saying that it was impossible to condone bad agents but that not all agents were bad, and that many agents were keen to get politicians of all or any parties to regulate the industry more – precisely to rid it of the bad agents.
 
On one occasion Walker tweeted: “One dodgy MP doesn’t make a whole party corrupt any more than one agent makes a whole industry the same. Some of us care.”

  • Billy The Fish

    She's been on this bandwagon for a while so I wonder what will be next to keep her profile up?

  • icon

    Could it be that the one who doesn't know what is going on is Creasy herself. Many MP's jump on easy targets, that they do not fully understand, for the publicity of being seen to be doing 'something'?

  • Richard White

    It always makes me hoot when those bastions of truth and nobility, the politicians, get stuck into anyone else over dodgy dealing.

  • Jamie  Humm

    Not sure she'd be a particularly wise choice as deputy leader. She seems far too divisive.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    What's Ms Creasy ever done wrong, Richard? As far as I can see, her record is pretty clean. The same can't be said for certain letting agents and landlords.

    Just because certain politicians are lying, money-grabbing, untrustworthy careerists, doesn't mean they all are. Just like all letting agents aren't greedy, unscrupulous and lazy, or all landlords self-interested and manipulative.

    If she thinks letting agents are taking the mickey with these fees - which is a pretty justified opinion -n then she has the right to call them out on it. You have a right to disagree in the strongest terms.

    Given her profession, she can hardly stand on the moral high ground without being called out for hypocrisy, but I genuinely do think she cares about her constituency and is a decent MP. Naïve, idealistic and experienced, which means she's not deputy leader material, but far from the worst we have in Parliament.

  • Richard White

    Ohhhh Jon, Jon. I'm not having a go at her specifically, I'm having a go at her kind, generally. You know, the way you do with everyone in the property game?

  • Richard White

    BTW, naïve idealists have been the root cause of almost every problem we face today, as a nation. Again, not her fault, but worth mentioning.

  • icon

    Wow Jon - think about this for a minute. This is a publication with a readership made up of letting agents and those interested in residential lettings. Creasy picks agents and landlords as a target and starts bashing them at every opportunity. Do you then expect - on a forum like this - said agents to defend people like her? Trade forums are exactly for this purpose!! She maybe a decent MP and care about her constituents. But let's say for example a letting agent in Liverpool reads her continual diatribes against agents on this forum, what do you expect their reaction to be? Come on!

  • Michael Lamoureux

    in fairness Jon T, what has she ever done right? Politicians should be judged by actions not words, this lady is grabbing headlines with her stance on Letting Agents because it is a massive industry that involves so many of the voting age public. When I see her standing up against institutional child abuse or fighting corruption I will then believe she has something useful to contribute to the letting industry.

  • Michael Lamoureux

    Plus her picture looks faker than my Gucci headband!

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