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Private rented sector 'a scam', says Ken Livingstone

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone has called for rent controls, saying that “our private rented sector has become a scam”.

Livingstone was speaking at an Evening Standard debate on the Future of the London Property Market.

He called for a huge house-building programme, saying: “Over the last four or five years, the Bank of England has printed electronically £375bn which has kept the banking system afloat.

“If a quarter of that had been diverted to a five-year housing programme, we could have bought 100,000 homes a year and not increased our debt: homes owned by the Bank of England and managed by local authorities.”

Speaking at the same conference, Richard Blakeway, the mayor’s housing chief, repeated calls for £1.6bn of Stamp Duty money raised each year from London house buyers to be ploughed into a building programme in the capital.

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