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No key speech by Labour housing spokesman at party conference

Labour’s shadow housing minister John Healey is reported to be one of a number of prominent front bench opposition spokespeople being denied a keynote speech at the party’s conference in Brighton later this month.

The Huffington Post reports that the party leadership, in a bid to build on the large increase in party membership seen since Jeremy Corbyn took over as leader, wants much more time at the conference to be given to rank-and-file delegates rather than MPs or other spokespeople.

This is despite housing issues being a prominent part of political debate in recent months following the Grenfell Tower fire, the attention given to high house prices and relatively low house building totals, the proposed ban on letting agents’ fees on tenants in England and Wales, and controversies over leasehold tenures especially in new build houses. 

However, it is possible that there may be an emergency debate requested specifically about Grenfell; if so, Healey is expected to take part. 

The big keynote speeches at the conference, however, will come from Corbyn himself, shadow chancellor John McDonnell, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer.

The conference is on from Sunday September 24 until Wednesday September 27.

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