Labour’s Lucy Powell, the party’s new housing spokesperson, says she wants to work with the Conservatives to scrap Section 21 eviction powers.
Abolishing S21, as part of what the government calls the Renters Reform Act, has been a pledge since the 2019 General Election, which the Conservatives won by a landslide.
Powell, appointed shadow housing minister in Labour’s recent reshuffle, now says in a statement on Twitter: “Labour has warned time and again that ending the evictions ban ... is gambling with people’s livelihoods and life chances. The Housing Secretary must keep his promise that nobody will lose their home because of Coronavirus.
“Ministers should work with us on emergency legislation to end Section 21 ‘no fault evictions’ now. Instead the government has kicked its pledge to protect renters into the long grass. Now, they’re stripping away emergency protections without any plan to prevent a crisis.”
Meanwhile former Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has spoken out against what he calls “the greed of the mega-landlords.”
The veteran MP - who was effectively deputy to former party leader Jeremy Corbyn - says: "Even before the [Coronavirus] crisis, tenants were being crushed between high rents and low wages. The Covid crisis has only made the situation worse.
“Meanwhile, UK billionaires have increased their wealth by more than 237 a day since the pandemic began.
“Enough is enough - we have to defend working people against the greed of the mega landlords. We need transformative solutions, like banning no fault evictions and cancelling all pandemic rent debt."
McDonnell’s comments come in a protest by left wing Labour group Momentum against the end of the bailiff-enforced eviction ban.