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Graham Awards


Row brewing over Labour MP talking housing at Tory party conference

A row appears to be brewing over the decision of a Labour MP to attend next week’s Conservative conference to discuss the rental and housing crisis in London.

The Huffington Post says Siobhain McDonagh, Labour MP for Mitchum and Morden, will be part of a panel discussing intergenerational fairness and housing at the Tories’ annual conference in Birmingham next week. 

McDonagh told the HuffPost that she would “go anywhere to confront the Tories” on London’s housing crisis and that her appearance “is about more than political posturing”.


However, her speech - to an event sponsored by right wing think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs - appears to have upset some Labour members.

One Labour MP interviewed by HuffPost but wishing to remain anonymous said “I can’t repeat what I think” while a Momentum spokesperson said “Don’t they have better things to be doing?”.

McDonagh, who has backed a cross-party motion to back housebuilding on the Green Belt, will share a platform with former Cabinet minister Priti Patel, John Myers of the Yes In My Back Yard campaign, Sam Collins of the charity for elderly people Age Endeavour, and the associate director of the IEA Kate Andrews. 

“I will go anywhere to confront the Tories with the terrible housing reality for hundreds of my hard-working constituents living in overcrowded conditions at private sector rents that leave them with little to live on and some without enough to eat … I will go anywhere to explain the reality of nightly paid temporary accommodation for 80,000 families including 123,000 children in our country in the 21st Century” the MP told the publication.

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    Seriously! I recently met with Siobhain McDonagh MP, to discuss tenants fees and housing in general. I guess as an MP you must have a little knowledge of everything and not a lot of knowledge in anything. This was certainly the case. She had very little knowledge of the housing market, whether it was in the private or social sector which was really frustrating, especially when she wants to advise in this area.
    Her empathy for helping those in need was admirable but her apathy for listening to a real insight into the market and how to best help the sector was concerning.


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