Please Note: This Article is 2 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

John McDonnell is the most high profile politician to back a campaign urging renters to stop paying their rent if they need to prioritise food and other living expenses.

Former Labour chancellor John McDonnell is backing a call for tenants to break legal contracts and stop paying rent.

Along with a group of union leaders and MPs, he’s urging renters to prioritise essential spending instead of rent.

McDonnell says: “Renters are facing immense worry and hardship because of the pandemic. Radical action is needed to support them and nothing should be ruled out including suspension of rents, rent controls and of course, the longer term supply of the decent homes needed.”

London Renters Union is heading the charge to organise a rent strike movement, following the lead of activists in the US and Australia.

It wants people to pledge online at to withhold enough of their rent to meet their basic needs, including food and bills. Its open letter has been signed by Labour MPs including Clive Lewis, Kate Osborne and Ian Byrne, who want rent payments suspended during the crisis and the cancellation of rent debt.

The union says millions of people feel enormous pressure to prioritise rent over buying food. It points to its recent YouGov poll which discovered that two-thirds of people agree that there are circumstances where those who’re struggling to make ends meet should stop paying rent.

A spokesman adds: “We are ready to take further collective action if the Government fails to adequately address the growing Coronavirus rent crisis.”

Another campaign, backed by Open Labour and Momentum, is calling on the Labour Party to adopt a cancel the rent policy, and has been signed by thousands of members.

Please Note: This Article is 2 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


  1. So who does he think is providing good quality housing now? Who is going to AFFORD to provide housing with no rents coming in and who is going to pay our debts that the government kindly imposed on us by forcing us to keep tenants who didn’t pay rent.

    The man can’t do simple maths. Money in = rent. Money out = bills, mortgage, repairs, insurance, upkeep, etc. Hope he intends on extending this ‘ideal’ to the councils or is it just private landlords?

    The man is bordering on the insane.

  2. This man quite simply is a Marxist and a hard left radical. If he was far right the MSM would ostracise him. He is dangerous to this country and thankfully he’ll never get anywhere near power.

  3. I’m sick of hearing this left wing rabbal along with that stupid charity shelter when will these wankers realize these property’s belong to people thank God this markist idiots will never get power

  4. People who try to something for themselves not live on the state work hard abide the law pay for things they have always get demonized by these Marxist idiots including landlords


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