Thursday 6 February 2020


Most MPs have second homes in order to carry out their work both in their constituencies and Westminster.  These are funded by the taxpayer.  Some openly abuse the system and buy up second homes despite the fact their constituencies are close to Westminster, the most prominent of these is Barry Gardiner.  His Brent North constituency is less than ten miles from Parliament.  Gardiner has profited from this scam in the past, while others have merely used their existing wealth to make property investments.  One example is Emily Thornberry.

She and her husband - High Court judge Sir Christopher Nugee - own three properties reportedly worth almost £5million.  Despite Labour's policy on abolishing the Right to Buy scheme, they made a cool £500,000 profit after purchasing from a housing association.  This property was bought for Thornberry's brother.  Another property was purchased for her mother.

Lady Nugee spoke to Victoria Derbyshire on Wednesday about her own proposals for Labour's housing policy.  It was tough talk from Thornberry as she declared owners of empty properties would have them seized by local authorities.  She bemoaned developments along the Thames where none of the lights were turned on at night.  "State-sanctioned theft" was how one viewer described it. 

Towards the end of the piece Derbyshire puts the awkward question to Thornberry: "How many properties do you and your husband own?"  Emily's no-nonsense demeanour disappeared instantly and she was on the back foot.  Funnily enough, there was no mention of a housing association when she provided her answer...

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