Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
I am minded, given the High Court judgment of last week, to be careful what I say about the issue, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I just go on to speak a little about the evaluation of October 2015, which included 550 responses to online surveys, 12 focus groups, 36 one-on-one interviews and a mystery shopping exercise involving 332 encounters. That evaluation found that there was no systemic discrimination on the basis of race. The law was, and remains, absolutely clear that discriminatory treatment on the part of anyone carrying out the checks is unlawful.
Despite that, as hon. Members have mentioned, on Friday last week the checks were declared incompatible with the European convention on human rights. We disagree with the finding and are appealing the judgment. We remain committed to the principle that if someone has no right to be in this country they should not be renting property. This country has a proud tradition of upholding and promoting human rights, and we have set the standard internationally for the strength of our legal protections against discrimination. The High Court decision is not something we should take lightly.