Actress Maxine Peake took a new supporting role when she joined tenants’ groups in Manchester protesting against evictions.

The film and TV star turned up at the socially distanced event organised by Tenants Union, Acorn and Greater Manchester Law centre which saw trade unionists, housing activists and homelessness groups demonstrate outside the Manchester and Salford Civil Justice Centre.

She told protestors that she was there to lend support. Said Peake: “It’s appalling what’s going on. I’ve realised how bloody lucky I am. We can try to continue to fight for people’s right to live without stress and fear of eviction, or where their next meal is coming from.” She encouraged them: “Get involved as much as you can and keep up the amazing work.”

Salford thespian

A long-time supporter of the law centre, the Salford thespian is known for her sometimes radical views and was recently embroiled in the scandal over Rebecca Long-Bailey’s sacking by leader Keir Starmer, after an interview Peake gave that contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, which the MP re-tweeted. She later said the statement was inaccurate.

Despite the Government’s last-minute extension of the ban on evictions, protests have been held throughout Manchester, including outside courts where cases will be heard.

The Acorn union is calling for a serious reform to renting, to prevent a wave of homelessness and has repeated its intention to resist evictions and defend communities when the COVID eviction freeze comes to an end on 20th September.

It reckons 20,000 renters across Greater Manchester are at risk of losing their homes.

Union leaders have also written to the Government stating that they fear that homelessness could return to the streets of Greater Manchester on a scale not seen since the 1930s if rapid and decisive action isn’t taken to avert the crisis.

Watch Peake’s speech.


  1. “We can try to continue to fight for people’s right to live without stress and fear of eviction, ” With rights come responsibilities, Ms Peake, so if a tenant wants the right to live without stress and fear of eviction one of the sure fire ways of doing this is to pay your rent. If you can no longer afford the rent then you have to look for a cheaper property. It’s tough but that’s the way it is. If my tenants stop paying their rent I won’t be able to pay my mortgage and I’ll have to move to a cheaper house and as I live in one of the cheapest houses in my town… cheaper house will be my car or a tent. Nobody’s bailing out landlords. Can somebody please inform Ms Peake of that? Good thing she’s an actress not an economist!

    • I’m a homeless landlord.
      My tenants are 8 months in arrears, 9 months September!. Government keeps extending the ban on evictions. It does not help anyone especially tenabts who fell into rent arrears prior to covid-19.
      No protection for landlords during covid-19, haven’t seen one thing other than take a mortgage holiday which tenants think is free but the interest is put at the end of the mortgage.
      When I went to a homeless shelter they told me I’m not entitled because on paper I own a home. The government is black and white about it if you are a landlord they assume you are recieving rent! When I’ve factual evidence tenants are in gross arrears. The best the social could offer me was a b&b which would cost me £1000pm. Money I don’t have because every penny I have covers the morthage.
      I’m now on benefits, they cover the mortgage (tenants roof over their head) which means I can not afford the £1000pm b&b the shelter offered (at cost!! Certainly not free) so the only option has been for me to live in my car!
      The more the ban on evictions is extended the government is forcing tenants into gross rent arrears they’ll never be able to pay back, forcing the landlord to put a CCG against tenants which will give the tenants a bad credit score and no lending capability. Forbearance was the word the government used. Were is the forbearance with the tenant? They haven’t offered the landlord (me) even 1p. The tenants have tried to get UC but refused because they have sufficient funds. The government should be providing the tenant with 0% interest free loan to cover rent arrears and not allow landlords to carry the financial burden of covid-19. I own one house that is rented out. I’m not a business tycoon with many houses rented out neither am I responsible for social housing!
      The government should be helping landlords too . It’s so one sided, everything in favour of the tenant.

  2. I’m a landlord who is homeless, living in my car because government keeps extending ban on evictions. Homeless shelter would not help me because on paper I own a house, government see that landlord received rent so again, no to a roof over my head. Instead they offered me a b&b £1000pm . I’m now on benefits and that all goes on the mortgage (tents rent) . Tenants are in arrears of 8 months now £7000 , haven’t offered me the landlord even 1p. So stop poor tenabts they’ve so much protection unlike landlords


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