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Election 2019: Reports Labour will ‘drop right-to-buy plan’

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

A report published over the weekend suggests Labour has dropped its controversial plan to offer tenants the right to buy their privately rented homes.

The Financial Times reported the party has decided to abandon the plan amid fears the policy was ‘not workable’.

It attributes the claims to “party figures familiar with its UK election manifesto”.

Writing about the process of drawing up Labour’s manifesto, the paper goes on to say:

“Senior figures involved in the process said that the private right to buy, floated by Mr McDonnell two months ago, had been dropped.

“Mr McDonnell told the Financial Times in an interview in September that the policy would not be complicated and that the government could set a “reasonable price” for tenants to buy out their landlords.

“One party aide said that the shadow chancellor had been forced to drop the idea because it proved too complicated. “I can see why John was pushing it but at the same time the practicalities got in the way,” the person said.”

Labour has said it plans to publish its manifesto this Thursday.


At the time that the Shadow Chancellor first mooted the plan the RLA issued a robust press release with a warning that it would “effectively kill off a large part of the private rented sector denying a home to many thousands of people.”

Local Housing Allowance

The Liberal Democrats have also addressed housing this weekend, publishing their proposals to reform the welfare system.

The party has announced it would make changes to the way Universal Credit operates and abolish the cap on Local Housing Allowance rates, linking them to average rents ‘in each area’ although it has yet to go into any detail as to how this would work in practise. 

More information

The RLA has published its own six-point election manifesto highlighting the changes it believes are needed to create a PRS that words for all. You can read it here.

To find out more about recent statements from the three major parties on the issue of housing and PRS ahead of the publication of their manifestos click here. 

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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