Labour is on the warpath against the government following the surprise contents of the Coronavirus Emergency Bill, apparently watering down the eviction ban.
Last week, the government pledged to introduce a 'complete ban on evictions and additional protections for renters' affected by Coronavirus, but the Bill which has now become law simply extends the notice required for possession from two months to three.
John Healey MP, Labour’s shadow housing secretary, says: “With this legislation, Boris Johnson has broken his promise to the country’s 20 million renters.
“This is not an evictions ban, as Labour argued for, and renters were eventually promised by Boris Johnson. This legislation does not stop people losing their homes as a result of coronavirus, it just gives them some extra time to pack their bags.
“It beggars belief that the government is not willing to make this simple change. We even wrote to ministers to give them the legislation that would provide the protections renters need: to ban evictions and suspend rental payments beyond the crisis.
“This is the help already promised for struggling home-owners from government and mortgage lenders.
“Coronavirus is a public health emergency, it need not become a crisis of housing and homelessness too. But this will happen if the government continues to refuse to take the most basic steps to keep people in their homes.”
The Coronavirus Bill has now passed into law and cannot be amended.