Who is Angela Rayner?

Angela Rayner, a former trade union representative who grew up in social housing, has been named Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Rayner, who has also been appointed Deputy Prime Minister, has quickly reverted the department’s name to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Growing up on a council estate in Stockport, Rayner became a carer for her mother at the age of 10. Her family struggled financially, and she described her childhood as one marked by neglect and instability. Pregnant at 15, she left school without qualifications and began working as a care worker for Stockport Council to support her son. Her early life experiences have shaped her resilience and determination in her political career.

Rayner’s rise in politics began with her role as a trade union officer at Unison, where she eventually became the union’s most senior official in the North West. Elected as the first female MP for Ashton-under-Lyne in 2015, she quickly ascended through the Labour Party ranks, holding positions such as opposition whip, shadow pensions minister, shadow women and equalities minister, and shadow education secretary.

As Deputy Leader of the Labour Party since 2020, Rayner has demonstrated her tenacity, notably resisting a move to a more junior role by Sir Keir Starmer. She has held the shadow housing brief since September 2023.

Rayner has been vocal about her commitment to housing, pledging to deliver the largest boost in affordable and social housing for a generation. She aims to build new social and council houses that are sustainable and desirable. Rayner has also pledged to prevent developers from evading their affordable housing obligations under Section 106 and has proposed guidance to restrict developers’ challenges to these rules.

In addition, she has set out plans for new towns with a target of 40% affordable homes and has committed to making the Affordable Homes Programme more flexible. Rayner also plans to abolish the leasehold system and build homes to meet the needs of future generations.

One of her key promises is to immediately ban Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions, a pledge she has emphasized despite concerns from landlords. Rayner acknowledges the need to address the current issues in the courts system to support this change. Her housing policies feature prominently in Labour’s general election manifesto, including planning reform and the construction of 1.5 million new homes.

Angela Rayner’s personal and professional background provides significant insight into her approach to housing and her dedication to improving the sector. Her life story and political career suggest a strong commitment to addressing housing challenges and advocating for those in need

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