Benyon bites back over Hoxton estate controversy

Millionaire MP Richard Benyon

Millionaire MP Richard Benyon - Credit: Archant

Notorious millionaire MP Richard Benyon has launched a scathing attack on housing campaigners and local MP Diane Abbott, after she questioned rent rises at his families’ Hoxton estate- which threaten to leave 80 families homeless.

The MP for Newbury declined to comment on the Gazette’s story about the issue last week, but has since penned an article for a news website defending himself.

Mr Beynon wrote: “I understand that we are in a febrile stage of the political timetable and that a ‘Tory toff’ is a tempting target in the simplistic world of sound bite politics.

“It has been suggested that I have been personally going around “evicting” needy tenants from “social” housing in Hackney for my own gain. I haven’t.”

The country’s richest MP goes on to suggest that his family’s company, Benyon Estates, are considering pulling out of the New Era project thanks to the negative press as it’s “not worth the undoing of all of the good work and community relationships that have been developed throughout the generations.”

But the response was not well received by local campaigners, who dubbed him “woefully out of touch”.

Housing group Digs slammed Mr Benyon’s suggestion that the press coverage had “greatly reduced” the chances of “concessions” for residents.

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They said: “So if everyone had shut up and let him get on with ruining lives, the tenants might have got the equivalent of a goody bag, if that?”

Furious resident Danielle Molinari branded the politician a “lowlife”.

The mother of one fears her and her baby will be made homeless, and said: “Our fight is not over yet. This makes me angry but so determined to make a stand for our estate and fight for what we deserve.”