VIDEO: What ITV didn’t tell you about Mary…

May 16, 2019 | News

ITV told the story of how LRU member Mary was a victim of benefit discrimination. They didn’t tell you how she fought with our union and won.

You may remember Mary? Our member who was pressured out of thousands of pounds and won the money back by organising with London Renters Union.

Too often the media focuses on narratives of misery while leaving out stories of people power. We don’t hear about how communities are organising, fighting back, and winning.

ITV used an interview with Mary on Tuesday to run a story about how it’s nearly impossible to find a privately rented flat in London if you claim housing benefit. The piece focused on how Mary was pressured out of six months rent in order to secure a flat.

What ITV failed to mention was that Mary led a successful fightback – alongside hundreds of fellow union members – to get her money reimbursed. This happened even after she was told repeatedly that her case was unwinnable.

Mary had tried to get justice through the independent redress scheme. She had gone to solicitors and housing charities for help. They ignored her. The law was always on the side of the agents.

But Mary kept fighting and many of us joined her – in pickets, bad online reviews, flyposting runs around Romford and phone blockades. And eventually she won all of her money back.

Please share this blog post and help to tell the story that ITV wouldn’t.


We’re a members-led, campaigning union and we’re taking action to make sure all Londoners have a decent, affordable and secure home. Join our community today and become part of the movement to transform the housing system.


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