The Speaker
Saturday, 18 May 2024 – 10:07

Evictions, travelling and Parliament – three stories you might have missed this week

Much of this week’s headlines have been dominated by exam results, with governments in the UK u-turning on the use of a controversial grades moderation system. Here’s a look at some of the week’s othersother that you might have missed…


Eviction ban in England & Wales extended

In March this year, eviction cases were suspended as part of efforts to support people negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and its financial implications. It was feared that without such measures, thousands of renters could have lost their homes. 

The ban had been due to end on Monday 24 August, though ministers have come under pressure recently to extend the ban. The eviction ban has now been extended in England and Wales by four weeks.

Many have welcomed the extension of the ban, though some have complained the extension is not for long enough. Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer said, “Such a brief extension means there is a real risk that this will simply give renters a few more weeks to pack their bags.” Meanwhile, the chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter has said the government should use the short extension period to “put proper safeguards in place for renters.” 

The government has announced that it is increasing protections for renters, saying that six month notice periods must be given to tenants in order to support renters over the winter months.

The extension of the eviction ban and the new measures to support renters have left some landlords disgruntled, as dealing with late-paying or non-paying tenants is now somewhat harder.


More changes to UK quarantine rules

Most weeks recently have seen the UK Government announce changes to its quarantine and travel corridors lists and this week was no different.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Thursday that arrivals to the UK from Croatia, Austria, and Trinidad and Tobago would have to self-isolate for 14 days, as they were removed from the UK’s travel corridors list. The changes came into effect from 4am on Saturday, sparking more disruption for travellers and holidaymakers. 

Meanwhile, Portugal has been added to the travel corridors list, meaning arrivals to the UK from Portugal will no longer usually have to self-isolate.

The UK Government’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office issues travel advisory messages to the public and is currently advising against all non-essential countries to many countries, based on how much risk it believes the Coronavirus is causing.


Suggestion to move Parliament to York will not ‘be considered’

The Houses of Parliament’s Restoration and Renewal Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority has said that a suggestion by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the Houses of Parliament to be relocated to York while repairs take place in the Palace of Westminister will not be considered by planners.

The Palace of Westminister, which is home to both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, is in urgent need of repairs and upgrades. The Victorian palace has outdated wiring and a long list of maintenance issues that need taking care of in order to keep the building’s occupiers safe and the building itself free from a disaster.

In 2018, MPs voted to fully ‘decant’ from the Palace while works estimated to cost around £4bn take place. In July, Boris Johnson suggested Parliament be temporarily moved to the Northern city of York. At the time, the suggestion faced opposition, including from many which felt that the work of Parliament needed to remain in London while refurbishments take place.

This week, the bodies managing the restoration and repairs said the location of any temporary chamber should be for the Members of the Commons and Lords to decide.

The Government has appeared keen to increase the presence and focus of politics in the North, especially since the Conservatives newly won many Northern seats in the December 2019 General Election.


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