Housing

Housing estate campaigner Lindsey Garrett running for London Mayor

Lindsey Garrett and Russell Brand outside 10 Downing Street

Lindsey Garrett and Russell Brand speak to a reporter outside 10 Downing Street. Image: YouTube/ Channel 4 News https://goo.gl/Kmuc0V

Lindsey Garrett has announced that she’s running for Mayor of London.

She’s one of the women who successfully campaigned against rent rises in Hackney’s New Era housing estate.

Writing in The Guardian, Lindsey says that the last thing she really wants is to become mayor.

However, she says that no one is proposing laws that sufficiently protect tenants, and she’s ‘hungry for change.’

The New Era estate became an emblem of London’s housing crisis last year when it was bought by US investors Westbrook Partners.

While previous owners had kept rents below market value, Westbrook planned huge rent increases, which many tenants feared would leave them homeless.

In response, Lindsey and other women from the estate led a high-profile campaign.

They delivered a 300,000 signature petition to David Cameron, marched on Westbrook’s Mayfair offices, and received support from actor and comedian Russell Brand.

As a result, Westbrook backed down and sold the estate to a charitable housing foundation.

Boris Johnson has been the Mayor of London since 2008.

His term comes to an end in 2016.

The main political parties haven’t yet made their mayoral nominations, but possible candidates include Labour MP for Tooting Sadiq Khan and former MP Tessa Jowell.

Lindsey is working on her campaign with  a new political party Something New, who aims to ‘bring British democracy into the 21st century.’

She’s said that her agenda is ‘not a revolutionary socialist agenda’ but that she has a vision for a ‘city that is humane to its people’:

It’s a London where people aren’t ground down by overpriced rents and mortgages; or living in fear of their landlord; and where the cultural life of the city is affordable for everyone.

It’s a city where the economy thrives because it has thrown off the dead weight of the housing bubble, creating more jobs. An economy that grows in wealth shared by everyone while reducing its environmental impact.

 

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