Alan Whitehead

party: Labour Party
constituency: Southampton, Test

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Should people in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same free speech protections from libel bullies as their neighbours in England and Wales?

organisation: English PEN

Yes.

The standards of goods and services that are essential, such as food and water, are generally highly regulated. Do you support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of a renting?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes, strongly. Particularly on energy efficiency. This is something I've campaigned on for many years.

Britain spends £24 billion on housing benefit and less than £1.5 billion on building homes. Do you support an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion a year to build homes?

organisation: Generation Rent

I support a substantial housebuilding which would be undertaken both by registered social landlords, co-ops and local authorities.

To what degree should access to information on the internet be restricted by the state or private companies?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

Access to the internet by private companies or the state should not be restricted apart from how it relates to the protection of individuals' privacy or protection from criminal intrusion and protection of minors.

Would you support the creation of a Royal Commission to review Britain’s drug laws?

organisation: CISTA

I would support a review of drug laws relating to the class status of various drugs.

How would you reform surveillance law, oversight and practice to respect the rights of law-abiding people?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

You should be able to scrutinise surveillance arrangements and those undertaking surveillance procedures need to be properly accountable. Labour pushed for the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation to review the legal framework governing surveillance and set out detailed proposals for reform – looking at both the capabilities and checks and balances that are needed. In government we will examine the findings of this review and take the necessary action to update our response and keep the country safe. Liberty and security are both central to democracy. We need to feel secure to have the freedom to get on with our daily lives. Where interventions are needed that infringe on individual liberty or privacy in the interests of collective security, they must always be only those necessary and proportionate to the problem. Strong powers need to be matched by strong checks and balances – to set limits and make sure they are not abused.

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes. We need to build more houses. Demand is not keeping up with household formulation which means there is less housing to go around, and at a higher price. Labour's plan to build 1million new homes by 2020 will go some way towards redressing this balance.

Private sector landlords receive over £27bn a year in housing benefit and tax breaks. Would you support a rent tax that recouped up to a third of this to fund new housing supply?

organisation: Generation Rent

It's an interesting proposition but it has a number of practical difficulties in how this tax would be structured relating to rent levels and the extent to which such a text could be subverted by other charges.

Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent

Labour would limit rent increases to the rate of inflation.