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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agency chief blasted for backing Boris Johnson, Brexit and homes policy

Estate agent turned Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake has provoked a furious response on social media by coming out in favour of Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament.

Hollinrake, who is MP for Thirsk and Maldon but remains the high-profile chairman of Hunters, tweeted: “Whilst I understand that suspending parliament at a critical time is far from ideal, reality is that this will reduce scheduled sitting of the house by only 6 days and this is only necessary because 98% of opposition MPs consistently vote against a deal and trying to delay Brexit date will undermine our negotiating position at a key stage. Assuming we do now get revision/replacement of backstop, all MPs will only have choice to leave with a deal or leave with no deal.”

The first response typified those to come, when a follower tweeted: “Please don’t try to pass the blame on to our democratically elected MPs. Your party called the referendum, your unelected PM triggered article 50 without a plan, and your negotiating team failed to get an acceptable deal and now another unelected PM wants to bypass parliament.”

Another response wrote: “So you’re happy to remove parliamentary scrutiny when it becomes a little too inconvenient?”

And another Twitter response criticised Hollinrake and other MPs for “have six weeks off” and “suspending [Parliament] AGAIN” asking: “Will you be happy to forfeit your wages and expenses?”

Out of a large number of Twitter responses to Hollinrake, only one appeared to back him. A grandfather from Filey tweeted: “Good decision Kevin. Somehow, whatever it takes, we need to get brexit [sic] done with so we can all get on with out lives.”

Hollinrake took to Twitter again, just hours before supporting the suspension of Parliament, to praise the Prime Minister for “cutting out the middleman (housing associations” in new policies designed to deliver more low cost housing.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick earlier this week announced that shared ownership tenants could in future buy shares in their home as little as one per cent at a time, while there was a broad pledge that local first time buyers could receive discounts of up to 20 per cent on new homes. 

While both policies have received mixed reviews from the industry, Hollinrake has been fulsome in his praise, taking to Twitter to say: “Great policy from Robert Jenrick and Boris Johnson - cut out the middleman (housing associations) and deliver low cost homes to purchase at big discounts from market price for local first time buyers.”

First response to the Hunters’ chief on social media was from respected estate agency owner and industry commentator Maurice Kilbride who wrote: “Great policy? There are only 200,000 shared ownership properties around the country! Where are all these new properties going to be built and who is going to build them?”

Although Hollinrake later went on to respond to a different tweet, he did not answer Kilbride’s questions.

Hollinrake does not hold a government position but is currently running to become chair of the influential Treasury Select Committee; he has been a supporter of the Tenant Fees Act.

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