Diane Abbott received cheers on Sunday evening when she told a capacity crowd that London’s housing system was “f***ed”.
Speaking at a discussion held at the Chats Palace Art Centre in Homerton, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington was the first to point out her own party’s errors on social housing.
“We spent a lot of money re-doing council housing in the last Labour government,” Abbott said. “The problem is, we didn’t build enough affordable council housing.”
According to Rightmove, the average house price in Hackney has shot up 35 per cent since 2011, to just under £800,000.
Abbott, who has represented her constituency since 1987, said that on her current earnings, even she would not be able to afford a house in the borough.
“When you’ve got MPs and consultants not being able to afford to live where they practice, [the system] has got majorly out of sync.”
She attributed the “dysfunctional market” to the number of wealthy internationals moving into the city.
Abbott also called on Mayor of London Boris Johnson to enforce rent control measures and make it harder for buyers to leave properties empty in the capital.
The meeting, which was hosted by the monetary policy group Positive Money, featured other speakers including Philip Glanville, the cabinet member for housing in Hackney, and Heather Kennedy of Hackney Digs, the campaign group for affordable rents.
Image: Alex Hilton. Some rights reserved.