Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

The Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc.) Bill

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Unauthorised tenants whose homes are repossessed because their landlord has fallen into arrears should be offered greater protection, Labour MP Brian Iddon has told MPs.

On 29 January, Dr Iddon said that his private member's bill - which has cross-party support - would allow tenants to delay repossession for up to two months, in order to find a new home.

The first time unauthorised tenants discover their home is being repossessed is often when bailiffs turn up at the door or the locks are changed, he told MPs.

"This is unacceptable".

The bill will close a legal loophole affecting around 3,000 tenants a year, he said.

Lib Dem Bob Russell welcomed the bill as "a fantastic swansong...which I hope will become law", but warned that it is only "one small part of the jigsaw".

Dr Iddon is standing down at the next general election.

Independent Bob Spink said he was not satisfied that the bill made fully clear that tenants could only apply for a repossession to be delayed once, a concern echoed by Tory MP James Duddridge.

Communities Shahid Malik said that the government "wholeheartedly supports" the bill which "enhances protection for those who rent privately and whose landlords have not requested or received lender consent to let".

Shadow communities minister Stewart Jackson added, "I can ensure the House that my party is keen...to see this bill become law".

Personal statement

Harry Cohen made a personal statement during the second reading debate apologising for his expenses claims.

Mr Cohen was found by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to have breached the rules on second home claims and told he may lose the £65,000 resettlement grant available to retiring MPs.

"I have the greatest respect for Parliament and would not have intentionally wanted to do anything to tarnish its reputation. I am sorry if I have done so", he told the House.

MPs started the session voting on a motion that "the House do now sit in private"; sometimes used as a procedural tactic to test the quoracy of the House.

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