'Labour is winning arguments and making Ministers change policy – the Tory U-turn on legal protection for renters is proof'

After years of blocking Labour’s plans to give renters living in dangerous homes proper legal protections, Tory Ministers have finally been forced to back down .

So the Government support for Karen Buck’s backbench bill is welcome.

It’s more proof that Labour is winning the arguments and making Ministers change government policy.

When Sajid Javid and other Tories voted down this Labour proposal in Parliament two years ago they described it as ‘unnecessary regulation’ which ‘will deter investment and put up rents’.

But the writing was on the wall even before the tragedy at Grenfell Tower after private landlord bodies backed Labour’s plan, exposing the Tory opposition as evidence-free, ideological nonsense.

So now they’ve admitted private renters need such basic consumer rights, the Government should rethink its hard-line refusal to help renters in other areas too.

They should starting by backing Labour’s plans for longer tenancies and controls on rents, so that private renters don’t find ever-rising rents dash any hope of saving for a deposit on a first home.

And after the Tories have cut to the bone investment in new housing association and council housebuilding, and axed Labour’s Decent Homes programme to make all homes meet good modern standards, Ministers must finally treat social housing tenants with the respect they deserve.

After eight years of Tory housing failure, all those struggling with the high cost or poor state of their homes will hope this climb-down is the first step in a much bigger change in government policy.

And Labour will keep up the pressure to force this change.

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