Labour pledges to keep Right to Buy but replace lost homes

The Labour Party would retain Right to Buy but replace lost social housing ‘like for like’, shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy said following the Housing 2023 conference.

This is despite “Ending the Tories’ Right to Buy” being part of the party’s 2019 election platform.

Nandy said Right to Buy was “originally a Labour policy”, but blamed former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for allowing social housing stock to become completed.

Asked to elaborate by Inside Housing, she said: “We support the Right to Buy, what we don’t support is the loss of stock.

“But you have to replace like for like. When [former Labour leader Hugh] Gaitskell originally proposed the Right to Buy policy, it was about giving people the right to own their own home, to the assets that sustain you and the security and stability that working class people have been shut out of for too long.”

Sadiq Khan

She added: “What we’re not proposing to do is take away from people the right to access their own assets. In fact, we want to do the opposite: we want to extend wealth ownership, asset ownership, to people in every nation and region in this country.”

Not every Labour Party politician is with Nandy however, as London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for powers to suspend Right to Buy in London last week.

Khan said: “One of the things I want to do is to persuade, if not this government then the next government, to devolve to me those powers. And one of the things I’ll be looking into, for the reasons that you’ve set out, is to suspend Right to Buy.”

He blamed Right to Buy on keeping more Londoners in an increasingly expensive private rented sector.