Half Lib Dem MPs have opposed Cameron’s plan to end lifetime tenancies

by Stephen Tall on August 9, 2010

The Guardian reports today:

More than half of Liberal Democrat MPs, including two cabinet members and eight junior ministers, are on record as opposing plans by David Cameron to water down security of tenure for new social housing tenants.

The scale of the opposition suggests Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader, is speaking for the bulk of the party in opposing the ideas floated by the prime minister.

Cameron suggested the idea of fixed-term tenancies for new tenants last week, and the housing minister, Grant Shapps, continued to defend the plan this weekend, saying lifetime tenancies did not make sense.

The paper’s figures are compiled from a trawl of signatories to parliamentary Early Day Motions backing council house tenants’ rights to lifelone tenancies:

A total of 37 Lib Dem MPs signed an early day motion (EDM) in November 2007 which “actively opposes both the stigmatisation of council housing as housing of last resort and proposals to means test or time-limit secure tenancies”.

Ten of the signatories stood down at the last election but 27 remain in the Commons. Add another five Lib Dem MPs who signed similar motions and defenders of security of tenure account for 32 of the current 57-strong parliamentary party.

Those named as opposing an end to lifelong tenancies include two cabinet ministers, Chris Huhne and Michael Moore, and eight other government ministers: Norman Baker, Jeremy Browne, Paul Burstow, Ed Davey, Lynne Featherstone, Andrew Stunnell, Sarah Teather and Steve Webb.