Westminster Hour

On Sunday 7th August I appeared on BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour show to discuss the Tottenham riots to mark five years on from since the riots broke out and the London housing crisis alongside Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP.

I told the interviewer Carole Walker that the summer of 2011 were the worst days of my political life and a truly awful moment in our history. I was also asked about the Government's response to the riots and the victims panel that was set up. I said:

"Very quietly in 2013 Eric Pickles slipped out the Government's response [to the pane's final report] and 39 of the recommendations made were not even responded to... My view is that when people ask "Can there be another riot?", if you don't even listen to the small enquiry that you had after the riots of course there could be".

On the issue of the extension of right-to-buy for tenants of housing association properties I said:

"This is a nightmare. There is no replacement. There is a complete collapse of social housing in this country. There are millions of people who will never be able to afford their own home - they need social housing and the Government's flogging off even more of it. It's barking. Developers think it's barking. Housing associations think it's barking. The only people that want to do this are zealot Thatcherite Tories.

"The Chartered Institute of Housing has said that we're going to lose 370,000 homes because of this silly right-to-buy and homelessness has gone up 102% since 2010 - we have a serious crisis. You need to borrow - the Government needs to borrow to build and we will need social housing".

You can listen to the show here on BBC iPlayer here. The section on the Tottenham riots starts at 19 minutes, and the discussion of the housing crisis begins at 28 minutes.

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