Five hours is a long time in politics. But not too long if you deliberately want to block a measure that would benefit millions of private renters.
Earlier today, despite overwhelming support from MPs in all parties, the Tenancies (Reform) Bill was not voted on after backbench Conservative MPs (and landlords) Philip Davies and Christopher Chope spoke for hours ad nauseum to stop its passage.
Despite Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green members all producing compelling examples of the harm caused to their constituents by revenge evictions, and government also supporting the Bill, parliamentary procedure was enough to end its chances in Parliament.
We thank all the MPs who spoke to try to end revenge evictions as well as the great organisations campaigning on this issue. But the fact is the Bill could have progressed if 100 MPs had turned up to vote for it. None of the parties told their members to be there despite the clear difference this would make to renters’ lives.
That’s why we still have to question which party is really going into the next election with a clear commitment to end the renting crisis. Across the country private tenants will be asking why their MP could not prioritise this issue considering how it would help their constituents.
There is still a chance to revive this issue and force government to end revenge evictions once and for all. Take action here to see that this issue is part of an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill when it comes back to the House of Commons.
This is a disappointment, but not the end. We want to thank Shelter, Citizens Advice, Crisis, NUS, Race Equality Foundation, CIEH, Electrical Safety First, GMB Young London and many others for their great campaigning on this issue.
At Generation Rent we will continue to build the movement to make the private rented sector work for renters. This means more pressure on politicians, more action in our communities and connecting the widening group of renters who won’t stand for the status quo anymore.
As one MP said towards the end of the debate, this legislation will become law eventually. The tide is turning.
It could still become part of the Consumer Rights Bill - we just need to convince Vince Cable.
The Telegraph, 27 November
Conservative Home, 28 November
The Telegraph, 28 November
The Guardian, 29 November