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Hundreds march against Housing & Planning Bill

London SE1 website team

Hundreds of people took part in a march on Downing Street in protest against the Housing & Planning Bill on Saturday afternoon.

Natalie Bennett
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett speaking in GMH Park
Lib Peck and Marcia Cameron
Lambeth Council leader Lib Peck marching with fellow Labour councillor Marcia Cameron
Richard Livingstone
Cllr Richard Livingstone, Southwark's cabinet member for housing, was heckled during his speech
Rashid Nix - Green Party
Rashid Nix is the Green Party candidate for the London Assembly's Lambeth & Southwark constituency
Hundreds march against Housing & Planning Bill
Members of Class War tried to burst in to the Reeds Rains estate agents office in Kennington Road
Hundreds march against Housing & Planning Bill
Class War unfurled their banner outside Reeds Rains estate agents
Hundreds march against Housing & Planning Bill
Hundreds march against Housing & Planning Bill
Hundreds march against Housing & Planning Bill
Hundreds march against Housing & Planning Bill
Hundreds march against Housing & Planning Bill
Southwark Lib Dem councillors Adele Morris and David Noakes

The march, called by Lambeth Housing Activists, who are part of the Radical Housing Network, began at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park and made its way through North Lambeth to Westminster Bridge.

Measures in the Housing & Planning Bill – which is currently before Parliament – include the abolition of lifetime tenancies in social housing, higher rents for tenants with a household income of 40,000 or more, and powers to force councils to sell off high-value homes when they become vacant.

The march featured a broad – and uneasy – coalition of left-of-centre groups from Class War and the Revolutionary Communists to the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Labour Party members.

Speakers at the rally in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park included Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Labour's Cllr Helen Hayes MP, Southwark housing supremo Cllr Richard Livingstone and Rashid Nix, Green Party candidate for the Lambeth & Southwark London Assembly seat.

"The Lambeth Labour group of councillors fully opposes the Tory Government's Housing and Planning Bill," said Cllr Lib Peck, leader of Lambeth Council, who also joined the march.

"No Labour representatives want to see this kind of social division and will continue to campaign and act to stop it."

Southwark's Cllr Richard Livingstone said: "The bill will make the housing situation in Southwark much worse at a time when we have record numbers on our homelessness register.

"It is therefore our duty as councillors to stand against this legislation."

When the march reached Kennington Road a number of Class War activists peeled off from the main demonstration to protest outside the Reeds Rains estate agent.

Staff shut the door as activists tried to enter the shop.

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