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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Outspoken estate agent critic wants Labour deputy role

Stella Creasy - a long-time campaigner against what she regards as rogue practices by estate agents and letting agents - now says she is “absolutely open” to the idea of being deputy leader of the Labour Party. 

Earlier this week we reported that Sky News tipped Creasy as one of 10 potential Labour leadership candidates, but on BBC Newsnight the outspoken Walthamstow MP dismissed the speculation. She said there were already many “good candidates” in the running for party leader.

However, when asked whether she would be interested in becoming deputy leader her response was: “Yes. I am open to the question, absolutely.”

Creasy has an overwhelming majority in her east London seat, extending her 2010 majority of 21,252 to 28,779 last week, despite the generally poor showing of the Labour Party elsewhere.

Earlier this year Creasy handed out awards to the best - and worst - sales and lettings agents in her constituency, and last year she used her role in the old Labour opposition front bench to criticise the use of “introductory fees” being levied by estate agents in some sales hot spots.

“How can you be acting in the interest of the seller if you are also making money from the buyer? This practice to me looks unfair. The behaviour of estate agents doing this needs to be challenged” she said at the time.

In the early stages of the election campaign Creasy had a fierce war of words in Twitter with Eric Walker of Northwood lettings agency. Creasy tweeted: "Being attacked by letting agents 4 daring 2 suggest their biz model has structural probs 4 consumers - why labour would ban fees!"

On one occasion Creasy, having been told why fees are charged, went on to liken letting agents to loan sharks with the tweet: "Of course arguing everyone does it  so not problematic [is] not strongest point #sodidloansharks."

Two years ago Creasy also opposed the coalition’s decision to shift responsibility for agency overview from the defunct Office of Fair Trading to the NTSEAT at Powys.

  • Trevor Mealham

    Labour would be bonkers to keep her. Her property policies don't stack up. She'd be a vote loser

  • Rob  Davies

    @Trevor Mealham - you may not like her policies on property, but she's clearly a very good MP. You only need to check out the size of her majority to see that.

    The awards stunt was misguided and petty, and some of her views on letting agents and fees are far too aggressive and simplistic, but I do think she has the best interests of her constituents at heart and she stands up for what she believes in. We need politicians like her - who are going to challenge the status quo and hold people to account - otherwise nothing will ever change.

    As unpalatable as she may be to some, we shouldn't be so arrogant to assume she'd be a disaster as Labour deputy leader. There is a lot of frustration and anger about housing and the PRS - these concerns shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. Sometimes those of us in the property industry can be too inward looking, and we get far too defensive against outside criticism.

  • Daniel Roder

    I don't agree with much of what she's said about landlords and letting agencies - and the whole awards thing was just vindictive - but I do also think she's a good MP who has just got her priorities wrong when it comes to property. There are obviously flaws in the PRS, but not every landlord is out to screw their tenants over. Rogue landlords are a major issue, but it's unfair to tar us all with the same brush.

  • Kelly Evans

    She might be a good MP, but she knows absolutely nothing about property!

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    • R M
    • 14 May 2015 15:49 PM

    @Rob Davies, I am not sure the size of majority is any judge of anything. Ms Creasey's antics acting effectively without any form of authority as judge jury and executioner mark her out as one of the worse MP's still with a seat in Parliament. The other bad rubbish mostly got cleared out.
    She is very lucky no-one has reported her to the parliamentary ombudsman for acting wholly outside the authorise remit of an MP. If she doesn’t like something she should use the correct process to change it. Taking to the streets as a self appointed vigilante with a grudge is hardly becoming of anyone let alone a member of democratically elected member of parliament. The whole point of democracy is to stop people creating their own rules and taking upon themselves to apply them.

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