I thank my hon. Friend for securing the debate. I put on record my apologies because I am unable to stay for the duration of the debate—I am hosting an event elsewhere in this place about a related matter, which is housing rent arrears arising from universal credit.
On retaliatory evictions, the Committee recommended reform of section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. There is a growing body of evidence that section 21 should be not only reformed but abolished. In response to our report, the Government stated that, on the one hand, they recognised
“the concerns of the Committee around retaliatory eviction”,
but, on the other hand, that they did not accept our recommendation that section 21 needs to be reformed. They said:
“We believe the current legislation strikes the right balance between the interests of landlords and tenants and we have no plans to change the legislation in this way.”
Does my hon. Friend agree that, without meaningful action on section 21, those are simply empty words from the Government?