An angry war of words has broken out between Isle MP Andrew Percy and his opposite parliamentary candidate.
Brigg and Goole Labour Party candidate Jacky Crawford hit out at Mr Percy accusing him of letting down his constituents by voting against banning letting agent fees in the House of Commons last week.
She told the Bells: “Our Tory MP has let his constituents down by dogmatically following his party whips and voting against this measure which would have made a huge difference to the millions of families across the UK in private rented housing.
“When you buy a house you don’t have to pay any fees to the estate agent, so how can it be right that people renting properties have to hand over an average £350 in admin fees just to get hold of the keys, and often have to splash out again to renew their tenancies?
“Mr Percy had the chance to vote to end this disparity but instead voted against the amendment. Brigg and Goole needs an MP who will stand up for local people struggling with a cost-of-living crisis, not a dogmatic politician who puts his party before his constituents’ interests.”
Mr Percy retaliated, saying: “What a hypocrite she is. Last week she was issued with instructions from her party bosses in London to campaign on this issue. At no point has she ever raised the issue of letting agent fees with me before and her own party, when in government, did nothing on this issue. The reason for this is because a blanket ban on all fees would result in rents rising for tenants, something Mrs Crawford does not appear to care about.
“Unlike the Labour MP I replaced, I have one of the most independent voting records in Parliament and vote in line with what I think is right for local people. On this issue, I spoke with one of our biggest letting agents locally, as well as a number of people who rent properties locally. It is clear that fees would simply be passed on in higher rents, hidden from view from tenants.”
He added: “It is about time that Mrs Crawford stopped parroting the party line. I will always do what I believe is right for local residents, not my own party. That is why I welcome the fact that the Conservative-led government is acting on rogue landlords and agents. We are requiring agents to properly display their fees, increasing fines for those who don’t. Rather than criticizing, Jackie Crawford should be apologising for the appalling record of the last Labour government, who not only presided over a record low number of new social homes, but who also created a housing bubble that eventually exploded, plunging many residents into negative equity and debt.