Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 - Motion to Regret

– in the House of Lords at 3:08 pm on 23rd September 2020.

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Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede:

Moved by Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede

To move that the House regrets that the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 will not continue to protect tenants from eviction, and calls on Her Majesty’s Government to amend the Housing Act 1998 to give courts temporary discretion on evictions, including on evictions arising from rent arrears (SI 2020/751).

Relevant document: 24th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee

Photo of Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Shadow Spokesperson (Justice)

My Lords, when the noble Earl gave his speech just now, he urged us to look at matters in the round. We are looking at matters in the round. We are not saying there should be an indefinite ban on evictions, but that the Government should honour their original promise that there should be no evictions as a result of coronavirus.

There have been a number of very knowledgeable contributions to today’s debate, but the one from my noble friend Lord Whitty is worth emphasising. His point was that there are potentially tens of thousands of evictions in the pipeline. The Government’s response, which we have heard today, is too little, too late. Perhaps this accounts for the huge discrepancy between the figures we heard from Generation Rent and those the noble Earl gave us today on what is actually within the court system. It is the pipeline of potential evictions that we are most concerned about.

I urge Members to support the Opposition’s regret Motion. As I said in my opening remarks, a regret Motion is the best way of dealing with this matter as it keeps the central problem at the heart of the debate, rather than the constitutional issues which would be raised by taking an alternative route.

Ayes 268, Noes 237.

Division number 2 Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 - Motion to Regret

Aye: 268 Members of the House of Lords

No: 237 Members of the House of Lords

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Division conducted remotely on Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede’s Motion

Motion agreed.

Sitting suspended.