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Labour Baroness to head fiercely pro-tenant campaign group

A Labour Baroness, Alicia Kennedy, has been named as the new director of the fiercely pro-tenant Generation Rent campaign group.

The announcement gave an indication that the new leader would continue the direction of the group to date - it spoke of the “suffocating debt” suffered by private tenants during the Coronavirus crisis.

In a statement accepting the position, Baroness Kennedy says: “This Coronavirus pandemic, and the particular challenges it has posed for tenants, has shown how much we need a strong national voice to campaign for the interests of private renters. That’s why I am so pleased to be joining Generation Rent at this vital time. 


“It’s our job to give private renters a platform to share their experiences and to unite to tackle the common problems so many face. Working together we can achieve positive change in policy and practice and deliver stronger rights for tenants. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Dan Wilson Craw, acting director in recent months, stays with the organisation as deputy director, leading on research and communications.

Baroness Kennedy this week resigned the Labour whip and says she will now serve as a non-aligned member of the House of Lords.

She is described by her new employer as being “a leader in strategic planning and campaign organisation” with a 25 year career in politics.

“She worked with Prime Ministers, Cabinet members, hundreds of MPs, and thousands of councillors and volunteers to deliver successful local and national election campaigns for the Labour Party. In particular, she was instrumental in modernising Labour’s campaign infrastructure and techniques through the use of digital technology, something which is still delivering results today” says Generation Rent. 

She was made a life peer in 2012, during her stint as political adviser to then-Labour leader Ed Miliband.

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    • 25 June 2020 08:04 AM

    Here we go.......!!!!!!!!
    I wonder what will come out of that.....As if I don't know!

  • Sarah Doble

    oh dear! Where are the working parties for landlords? Who has their interests at heart....

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    The best way Baroness Kennedy could approach her new job would be with an open mind and a willingness to completely reappraise all aspects of the PRS. She could then try and talk some sense into the rabid extremists who hitherto appear to believe that all LL should be branded with’666’. Unfortunately joining ‘a leader in strategic planning’ (I think we know what GR is planning for) does not seem likely to have a more balanced outcome.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The best thing she could do is familiarise herself with ALL sides of Private renting, and Not just from the rogue tenants perspective.
    By that, I mean speaking with landlords and the vast majority of Tenants who abide by their Tenancy agreement and are happy with their rental choices.


    @PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend
    Could. Should. Won't. She is ex-Labour and they don't do well with facts or adnitting that they are wrong

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    • 25 June 2020 08:35 AM

    Surely the ultimate expression of GR is to see all private LL eradicated?
    This must be the case as GR can't imagine for one moment that LL will remain so unless they can achieve market rents.

    Kennedy might complain about suffocating debt.
    I just call that debt market rent.
    If I am prevented from attempting to achieve that then I stop being a LL
    Then where will the tenant rent!?

  • Angus Shield

    Oh Grief!
    The expression 'contaminating the water supply' springs to mind.....

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    “. . . stronger rights for tenants. I can’t wait to get stuck in”. Words designed to perpetuate GR’s contempt for private landlords.

    With Boris in office but not in power, there are rough times ahead for landlords. Will the last one leaving the business please turn out the light.

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    Wouldn't it be better and refreshing for tenant organisations and pressure groups to use terminology such as "working together with landlords", "mutual understanding", "partnership" etc?

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    There are people in there own properties who suffer with debt, where’s there support. I really can’t stand this free ride society, it’s ok not to pay your way . , be a burden on others and not bother to help yourself. Makes you proud to be British. I also note the term new employer, a fat cat salary for another gas bag paid for with funds that could do so much to help those they claim to champion.

    Mark Wilson

    Adrian, the other side of the coin is that unearned income is considered to be the free ride for Landlords, and that the PR hurdle they cant get over. I am not saying it is right or wrong but that is the Gen Rent mantra.

    Will public opinion turn? I doubt it.


    I here you Mark, I know that`s the left wings view. After 25 years in the business I have had the worry of non payers a dead 20 year old who didn`t take her epilepsy medicine and drowned in the bath, and of course those lovely rules and associated costs that have been thrust upon us by the good in society. yes I get an easy ride with the good but because of the bad and the state constantly attacking the sector I think its fair to say a lot of us earn our money.

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    • 25 June 2020 11:16 AM

    Unearned income!!!!
    Car rental firms rent out cars
    Unearned income.
    Tool hire companies
    Unearned income.
    In fact any circumstance where anyone rents anything and pays for with coin of the realm is essentially unearned income for those providing the rental services.
    Now consider shareholder dividends all unearned income.

    It is only because LL take a fair chunk of other peoples income in rent to pay for an accommodation service that the user resents the service provider.

    They should in fact be very thankful that a LL has bothered to invested their own monies into provisioning such an accommodation service.

    Without private LL there would be millions of homeless.
    LL charge a price for their investment commodity.
    This price is usually arrived at as a consequence of market dynamics.

    It is not the fault of LL that the market is as it is.

    To change that market then Govt to need to carry out very radical and probably for the LL very onerous policies.

    So I would suggest that Baroness Kennedy immediately start campaigning to deport the 2 million odd illegal immigrants.

    Prevent any illegal immigrants trying to enter the UK from across the Channel.
    Deport those that do manage to reach the UK.

    Remove the 400000 EU nationals currently occupying social homes.

    Build millions of Council houses for British Nationals only based on a list NOT on need.
    Relax planning regulations to facilitate building on alleged Green belt.

    The price for mass uncontrolled immigration must be more concreting over the countryside.
    Blame Blair.


    Paul, don't rise to his bait. Mad Mark only comes on here to wind us up instead of doing some actual work in his own business. If he is ignored he will get bored and drift away and give his "wisdom" somewhere else.

    Mark Wilson

    Am i correct that HMRC classify unearned income as a definition?

    Of course I am, so why is it the cause of such protest? I fail to understand. I was just pointing out the PR hurdle that Landlord's need to get over. The readers here seem oblivious to the real world.

    Get over it you lot!


    Spot on Paul. Also I would like to say in my days as a buy to let mortgage payer the banks share was a lot less effort than my share.

  • Bryan Shields

    Just yet again another out of touch individual to dictate to the profession.


    Do you mean the Baroness or Mad Mark?

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    • 25 June 2020 12:02 PM

    @lyndon baker

    Yes indeed I take note of what you say and consequently as I am NOT a LA I will no longer comment on here.
    I will get back to my profession site of LL Today.

    Of course I will still read all that you LA have to say.
    Most useful insights as far a little LL is concerned.
    Thanks for your advices.


    Don't want you to stop commenting Paul, just ignore MM and I don't mean Markle!

  • David Baldwin

    A balanced pragmatic approach is surely needed

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    balanced, pragmatic; words not in the GR vocabulary.

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    I wouild like the Baroness Kennedy to take over a few of my properties as a full management letting agent with with her wages based upon a share of net profit.

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    Nver happen. Like Shelter, GR care about two things: Landlord bashing and a big bank balance. Actually houseing someone doesn't figure on their radar.


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