Russell Brand: Comedian marches to Downing Street to hand in New Era estate petition signed by nearly 300,000

The comedian is fighting against the potential eviction of 93 families from their London homes

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The Independent Online

Russell Brand joined residents of Hackney’s New Era estate today to protest against US property owner Westbrook, which is threatening 93 families with eviction.

The protesters then marched to Downing Street, where they handed in a petition signed by 294,000. An estimated 400 people took part in the event which was led by Brand.

Rent on the Hoxton estate will reportedly be raised to £2,000 from £650. However, Westbrook hand-delivered letters to all tenants last night which promised that rent will not be increased until the middle of 2015.

 “There will be no changes to the tenancy agreements and no increase in rents during the first half of 2015,” the letter read.

“To help us work with you more closely we will also be appointing a dedicated tenant liaison officer … We understand the accusations about us and our plans have caused concern and distress amongst tenants, so we hope that these commitments provide some further reassurance.”

Brand documented the proceedings on Twitter:


Westbrook brought the estate in March. It has been reported that the company plans to evict tenants, refurbish the building and sell the apartments for their current market value.

London Shadow Minister Sadiq Khan urged Westbrook to sell the estate to a social landlord instead so that tenants will not eviction.

“Ordinary Londoners are suffering, with their homes ripped from underneath them and their lives and families pulled apart, just so international investors can make a quick buck, with no regard to the community they are destroying,” said Khan.

“The shameful New Era saga embodies everything that is wrong with London’s broken housing market,” Khan told the Guardian.

“Ordinary Londoners are suffering, with their homes ripped from underneath them and their lives and families pulled apart, just so international investors can make a quick buck, with no regard to the community they are destroying.”

Last month, Brand protested against capitalism in a Million Mask March in London on 5 November.

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