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Labour not ruling out rent controls as possible manifesto pledge

A senior Labour spokesman has refused to rule out rent controls as a possible manifesto commitment for the June 8 General Election.

Jack Dromey – a former housing minister under Tony Blair and now shadow minister for labour – was put up as the party spokesman for a debate on housing on BBC2’s The Daily Politics yesterday lunchtime.

Dromey made a series of pledges including saying Labour would build 200,000 homes a year if it came to government, with around half of them being affordable, and insisted his party would significantly improve the quality and quantity of the private rental sector.

He was asked three times by presenter Andrew Neil whether the Labour manifesto would confirm a policy set out last year by party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said he supported rent controls for private tenants. On all three occasions Dromey simply said people would have to wait for the party’s manifesto – prompting a premature end to the discussion when Neil said he was receiving “rhetoric not answers” from the politician.

In the summer of 2016, during the Labour leadership campaign between himself and Owen Smith, Corbyn listed 10 promises he would enact if he became Prime Minister.

One was: “We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls, secure tenancies and a charter of private tenants’ rights, and increase access to affordable home ownership.”

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