Opinion: ‘No defence for evicting people’

The MoD has told tenants they must leave.The MoD has told tenants they must leave.
The MoD has told tenants they must leave.
Peterborough Telegraph deputy editor Nigel Thornton writes:

If there’s one thing guaranteed to make my blood boil it’s when people are evicted from their homes on the whim of their landlord.

When that landlord is the Government, which has a duty of care to each and every one of its citizens, it’s beyond parody.

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Yet that is just what is happening at Wittering where the Government in the shape of the Ministry of Defence is booting 60 families out of their homes.

To be clear there is absolutely no suggestion of non-payment of rent, mistreatment of the properties or anti-social behaviour.

The MoD, with a staggering lack of humanity, says it is just managing its property portfolio efficiently.

A spokesman for the MOD said residents were told they could be given a six month notice period at any point, but one householder told the PT: “We have not been told anything like that. I don’t think we would have moved here if we had been told that.”

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The head of the ministry is defence secretary Ben Wallace, MP. Mr Wallace was educated privately at Millfield School and is a graduate of Sandhurst.

I wonder if he and his family have ever been faced with the threat of eviction?

On a side note, the Independent newspaper reported in 2016 how Conservative MPs voted to reject a proposed rule that would have required private landlords to make their homes “fit for human habitation”.

The Labour-proposed amendment was rejected by 312 votes to 219.

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According to Parliament’s register of interests, the paper reported, 72 of the MPs who voted against the amendment were themselves landlords who derived an income from a property.

One of those was Ben Wallace.

Perhaps I shouldn’t make this personal, as I doubt Mr Wallace is even aware of this situation at Wittering.

But somebody has made this very personal for the residents.


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