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Graham Awards


No major rental reform debate at Tory Party conference

There appears to be no space for discussion on the government’s private rental sector reform policies at the Tory Party conference which begins in Birmingham on Sunday.

The agenda lists an extensive number of Cabinet ministers and junior ministers to address delegates in the main hall of the conference, including a two hour session on Monday afternoon led by controversial Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, but there is no debate given over to levelling up or housing, and no slot for new Housing Secretary Simon Clarke.

There are scores of fringe meetings at the conference, which runs  until Wednesday morning, and some are given over to levelling up and housing-related issues. 


But there is nothing specifically about rental reform aside from a Shelter-organised fringe event.

This is likely to do nothing to quell the speculation about whether the Renters Reform Bill and the Fairer Private Rental Sector White Paper - both products of the Boris Johnson government - will survive under the leadership of new Prime Minister Liz Truss. 

Truss herself addresses delegates just before the conference loses at Wednesday lunchtime.      

Meanwhile the fringe meeting organised by campaigning charity Shelter has a prominent campaigner for a mandatory register of Airbnb hosts as its main speaker - North Devon MP Selaine Saxby.

Back in January Saxby spoke in the House of Commons in favour of a compulsory register of short let hosts, supporting an initiative from former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. At the time she claimed that in the market town of Barnstaple, in her constituency, only two properties were listed for long-term rentals, while 123 were available on Airbnb.

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    An MP and a local Councillor - two dips into the public purse, stopping others increasing their income. No, I am not an AirBNB owner.


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