Blog Post

Election 2024: 8 Prospective MPs who will tackle the housing crisis

As the general election approaches, a new generation of MPs appears on the horizon to take the mantle of solving the country’s greatest crises.

Every new and returning Labour MP will bring a wealth of experience and specialisms to help in their area of interest, along with to represent their constituents more broadly. But we at Red Brick, and the broader Labour Housing Group, will be most focused on those new MPs who will be fighting on the front lines of the housing crisis.

Housing runs through the heart of the Labour movement, and it is no surprise that there are many qualified PPCs who have it in their DNA. This is by no means an exhaustive list of these, but below are some particular candidates that members of our Executive Committee are particularly excited about:

Sarah Sackman (testimonial written by Ross Houston)

Seat: Finchley and Golders Green

Previous MP: Mike Freer (stepping down in 2024)

Required swing to win: 9.7%

Former London LHG Exec member Sarah is a much-respected barrister specialising in planning and environmental law. She has acted for local authorities, NGOs such as Shelter and individuals fighting for better housing. Her proudest career achievement was winning in the High Court for the Foxhill Estate Residents Association – preventing the demolition of 500 council homes. Sarah also worked on No One Left Behind campaign in Boston, a housing campaign to keep people in their homes during the foreclosure crisis in 2010. She’s taught a class in planning and urban politics at LSE for the last 10 years.

Andrew Lewin (testimonial written by Alison Inman)

Seat: Welwyn Hatfield

Previous MP: Grant Shapps

Required swing to win: 10.4%

For a self-confessed housing geek like me Welwyn Hatfield is a fascinating battleground seat. Labour’s Andrew Lewin is taking on veteran Tory MP Grant Shapps. Shapps was the longest serving Housing Minister since Yvette Cooper and Andrew has spent the past seven years working for one of the country’s largest housing associations.

Housing needs to be at the top of the next Government’s to-do list, and we need MPs like Andrew who understand our complex housing system and how it does and doesn’t work. We need to hit the ground running on housing and Andrew is in a great position to help us do just that.

Satvir Kaur (testimonial written by Sheila Spencer)

Seat: Southampton Test  

Required swing to win: none

Previous MP: Alan Whitehead (standing down in 2024)

Satvir has lived in Southampton all her life. She grew up on free school meals, in a deprived part of the inner city. She began her working life in her family’s shop and market stalls.

As a Southampton councillor from 2011, housing portfolio holder and then as Leader from 2022-3, Satvir led on the city’s largest council home building programme and on community initiatives to tackle poverty. Now, as the candidate, building the homes needed is one of her priorities, knowing that too many young people and families are currently giving up hope of having their own home one day

Rachel Blake (testimonial written by Alex Toal)

Seat: Cities of London and Westminster

Required swing to win: 6.3%

Previous MP: Nickie Aiken (standing down in 2024)

Former LHG Vice-Chair Rachel Blake is perfectly positioned to tackle the housing crisis. With policy experience in HM Treasury and local government, securing funding and delivering programmes of investment in new and existing council homes, she is a passionate advocate for better housing, renters’ rights and leasehold reform, holding events about these issues across the constituency, which has disproportionately high numbers of households in these tenures.

Rachel is hoping to make history as Labour’s first ever MP in ‘Two Cities’, after Labour won the council in 2022 and the London Assembly West Central seat in 2024, and would be a powerful advocate for housing in the constituency.

Tracy Gilbert (testimonial written by Ross Houston)

Seat: Edinburgh North and Leith

Required swing to win: 10.9%

Previous MP: Deirdre Brock

Housing affordability is important to Tracy. She has direct experience as a former Housing Benefits Officer and has a long record as a campaigner and champion for her community. In 2023 Edinburgh’s Labour administration declared a housing emergency in a city with acute challenges with temporary accommodation, rising rents and homelessness. Edinburgh has the lowest proportion of homes for social rent in Scotland. Tracy is Regional Secretary for USDAW and has a proven track record negotiating pay rises across the public and private sectors. Ever more vital when dealing with pressures around the cost of living and housing for her members.

Jayne Kirkham (testimonial written by Sheila Spencer)

Seat: Truro and Falmouth

Required swing to win: 4%

Previous MP: Cherilyn Mackrory

Jayne Kirkham is Labour’s Group Leader at Cornwall Council, and a Falmouth town councillor. She worked as a Trade Union and Employment Rights solicitor, then volunteered for the local CAB and worked in a local school, so knows the challenges that working people face very well.

Jayne puts housing as her number one priority for Cornwall: finding truly affordable housing in Cornwall feels like such an intractable problem.  She has a record of pressuring both local and national government to see this for the housing emergency that it is in Truro & Falmouth.

Dan Tomlinson (testimonial written by Ross Houston)

Seat: Chipping Barnet

Required swing to win: 4.6%

Previous MP: Theresa Villers  

Dan grew up on free school meals and was homeless for a time as a child. As a new dad himself the lack of decent, sustainable and affordable housing is something very close to his heart. An experienced economist who started his career in HM Treasury, Dan currently works for the UK’s leading anti-poverty charity, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and is ideally placed to champion housing solutions.

He is passionate to see sustainable and genuinely affordable homes built, but crucially with a planning system which will promote our local economies and provide the needed infrastructure, such as GPs and schools.

David Smith (testimonial written by Sheila Spencer)

Seat: Northumberland North

Required swing to win: 16%

Previous MP: Anne-Marie Trevelyan

When David moved to the North East 16 years ago, he says it was very unusual to see anyone begging on the street. He was horrified that this became the new normal under the Tories. As a result, he became CEO of a homelessness charity working across the region, after working in international development. North Northumberland covers towns and villages from Morpeth to Berwick. David recognises that it needs real investment to properly “level-up”, including high quality social housing as well as much better transport infrastructure, high-skilled green jobs, and building bridges across divides.