Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has launched his party’s General Election campaign with an attack on what he describes as “dodgy landlords.”
He did not define how landlords became “dodgy” in his eyes, but in one passage in the launch speech of the campaign, he said: “We’re going after the tax dodgers. We’re going after the dodgy landlords. We’re going after the bad bosses. We’re going after the big polluters. Because we know whose side we’re on.”
Later in the speech he said: “Whose side are you on? The dodgy landlords like the Duke of Westminster, Britain’s youngest billionaire, who tried to evict whole blocks of families to make way for luxury apartments? Or the millions of tenants in Britain who struggle to pay their rent each month?”
He went on to say that dodgy landlords were part of what he called “a corrupt system.”
Aspects of the private rental sector appear to have already taken centre stage in Labour’s election campaign.
Earlier this week the party tweeted a video of tenants unhappy with their accommodation, and the accompanying text reads: “General Election 2019 is here and nothing shows the need for it like this: Cockroaches, flooding, non-secure tenancies and doors that don’t lock. Yet nothing but Tory contempt. We’ve been working with these residents for three months and will win for them and many like them. #ByTheMany.”
Corbyn’s opening speech made no reference to two controversial rental sector policies set out by leading Labour figures in recent months.
One is rent controls, which Labour wants to introduce in an unspecified number of major cities; the other is the forced sale of buy to let properties which Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said should be offered to tenants under a new form of Right To Buy.