South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: A frenzied fortnight

Craig Mackinlay

I’d call the last couple of weeks somewhat frenzied; a huge number of media appearances and comments on national issues including the fallout from my highlighting of serious shortcomings of Amazon, the global retailer with £25Bn turnover in the UK alone.

Working with Royal Mail I have highlighted the scandal that is their facilitation for sale through their marketplace feature of counterfeit postage stamps of extremely high quality, sourced in China. When consumers unwittingly use these stamps, purchased in good faith, the recipient of the mail finds a £2.50 surcharge levied. I don’t know about you but I had placed my trust, misguidedly, that shopping with Amazon would be as safe as shopping with a high street retailer.

Whilst Amazon claim they are closing down these dodgy marketplace sellers as they are recognised and that it’s ‘nothing to do with them’, I’m now working with the Serious Fraud Office as it is my interpretation that by facilitating the transfer of cash between consumer and the fraudster they are clearly part of the chain under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981. Why don’t they simply stop selling stamps would be my answer?

I’ve also been on the media explaining my disquiet about changes to the landlord-tenant contract proposed by the Renters (Reform) Bill recently presented to Parliament. Whilst sounding entirely innocuous and positive for tenants and I obviously support that, my experience is that s21 no-fault evictions on a whim are rarely used. Why would a rational Landlord (of which I’ll state clearly that I am one) evict a tenant merely because the abstract right to do so exists? The answer is they don’t.

The reasons s21 has been used is as an alternative to court-led s8 evictions for non-payment of rent or anti-social behaviour. Evictions for these reasons and for the property to be taken back by the Landlord for sale will be made more explicit in this Bill so nothing changes there. My query is whether this Bill is attempting to solve a mischief that simply doesn’t really exist?

My fear is that there will be a huge number of s21 evictions prior to the Bill becoming law as Landlords use the last chance saloon as they increasingly feel that the increasing number of rules and regulations loaded onto them is now too much. I’m not sure local authorities are ready for the housing demands upon homelessness claims that will be coming their way.

I’ve visited a large number of successful local businesses and enterprises over the past couple of weeks. David Bailey Furniture Systems on the Pysons Road industrial estate is one such local treasure manufacturing high specification desks, units, shelving for the NHS across the country.

I was pleased to formally open the new ‘Optic Centre’ at Instro Precision’s site at Discovery park, Sandwich. Instro manufactures new generation night vision goggles for the Ministry of Defence and for export. This complements their long-standing manufacture for military and civilian use of other optical and tripod equipment. A great local company.

I had a regular meeting with directors of Stagecoach South East at the Westwood Cross depot. We discussed bus provision across East Kent and the challenges faced, not least because of a permanent downwards shift of customers on the back of the Covid period. Working from home and online shopping has reduced regular bus travel by a demonstrable margin. We discussed the success of the recently extended ‘Get around for £2’ initiative supported by the government. It will remain in place until Autumn 2024.

Labour’s proposal to levy VAT on private school fees, which I can only assume would also apply to our successful language schools across Broadstairs and Ramsgate as well as after school tuition and possibly sports training has rightly concerned the independent schools across the patch. I visited St Faith’s in Ash, an outstanding independent school. The bursar of St Lawrence College joined for a mini-conference.

Many families, exercising a choice struggle to get school fees together, often meaning working extra hours, certainly forgoing other spending and sometimes with some financial support from grandparents. By levying a further 20% VAT the likelihood is that the cost would be too great, children would be withdrawn and placed into state education. So the much trumpeted VAT forecast to be raised simply won’t be and historic schools could end up closing. Many might say that’s great, fee-paying schools should not exist because of equality and political dogma. I call it choice just as we don’t all drive the same car, go on the same priced holiday or shop in the same shops. It is a grotesque move in my view.

Let’s hope for the good weather that’s promised. Enjoy.


  1. Instro is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, who make drones that are used to kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Optical and camera systems like those made at the Instro factory are also supplied by Elbit for use in drones flown over Afghanistan, as well as in Israel’s apartheid wall.

  2. Craig, you sound like a desperate man clutching at straws, but then whats new with you.

    You are an embarrassment to the area you are meant to represent, the clock is ticking for you.

  3. Rather than going to his local post office, this dipstick preferred to shop on Amazon, got duped into buying fake stamps and is proceeding to tell all and sundry about it (raising it in the HoC twice now) – only exposing his own idiocy.

    And in other news, landlord protects landlord rights (in constituency where renting tenants need all the help they can get).

    Can’t wait to show you the door (it’s not on Amazon).

  4. Hey McAirport, there is poo in the sea, the bins aren’t being collected and kids can’t eat. Do you really think we’re all sat here worrying about school fees and how easily we can evict tenants from our property portfolios?

  5. How about telling us if you approve of KCC’S intention to close the waste site in your constituency at Richborough? are you too embrarassed for words!?
    and what is your view on the death dealing Elbit Systems?

  6. Landlords don’t evict tenants eh Craig?

    You know statically it’s been proven they do.

    As usual ramblings of a madman who just cares about his own investments and interests.

    Try doing something for disabled children in your area or all the parents that suffered at the hands of QEQM.

    Rather than your usual act.

    • That’s not what he said. He’s saying that landlords don’t evict for no reason. I’ve been a landlord and a tenant. Being a landlord is much more stressful.

      • Then don’t be a landlord. It’s your choice. You could sell up your spare houses and invest the money in something else instead.
        Tenants are tenants because they don’t have a choice.

      • But they do. That’s my point. They evict because they can. That’s why protections are needed. They already have people paying their mortgages for them and moan if the incur any costs on their free houses. Landlords are the least self aware group I’ve come across.

        Your reply proves it.

        • What silly replies from Andrew and Not D: I, along with thousands of others, had to get out of buy to let because we were too vulnerable to pernicious behaviour from some (a minority) of tenants. This has reduced the number of homes available and put upward pressure on rents. Some people do choose to rent.

          • Allergic to facts and figures are you. It’s demonstrably true that good tenants are evicted for no reason. Hence why a government that usually removes protections is bringing them in. It has to be pretty bad for the tories to actually increase the rights for us peasants.

            It’s not ridiculous, as usual we have a landlord that believes somehow they are doing other people a favour. I’m not saying being a landlord is easy at all. But let’s not pretend it’s a system where only tenants are bad and let’s also be real. You are getting your mortgage paid for and you are left with a free house at the end. So many people have rental properties because it is such a brilliant investment. Let’s not kid ourselves.

  7. “We don’t all drive the same car or go on the same priced holiday.” What a care free world Craig lives in! Many people in Thanet are wondering how to feed their kids tomorrow or whether their local buses will be axed. And some of us are appalled we have arms manufacturers in our backyard.

  8. I know a few people who sit on there arse all day long ordering stuff from amazon. Get off your backsides and visit the local shops . Everything I’ve seen on amazon I’ve wanted can be sourced cheaper elsewhere.

  9. Out there in the firmament is a strange little planet at the far end of the solar system, wedged in between the Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Belt.On this planet live strange little beings who pay no taxes and spout southern water whenever inconvenient facts are made known to them.Planet Mackinlay seems to have ignored the coronation and the disastrous local election results for the Tories and instead, they talk about counterfeit stamps and hard up public school parents.
    If I were to ask the average Jemima and Joe in the street, do you think they would put counterfeit stamps and school fees as their priorities?
    OK Craig, here we go again:
    1. School fees are a choice, made by the middle classes because they believe their kids will get better opportunities.Nothing wrong in that,but charitable it ain’t.Maybe if the school system in Kent was better they would save their cash, and have a holiday instead.Craig remind us who runs KCC and Central Govt.Would it be your friends and colleagues.
    2.Evictions: Please beam down from your icy little world and look around you.Landlords are already evicting tenants in huge numbers, and it is your own Govt that has taken fight and is seeking a way through a mess of its own making.
    3.Stamps buy them from the Post Office, they need the money after your government privatised it.A non story Craig, and pretty desperate at that.
    4.Stagecoach: What can I say.They want out of provincial bus services. In Scotland and in metro areas there are EV buses.In Kent, cuts and all the old bangers , that other places chuck out.Its called cascading Craig, we are the Household waste recycling centre for buses.By the way, it is KCC’s job to promote bus travel, via its Enhanced partnership, or have you given up on them as well?
    5.Talking of HWRC’s are you going to the barricades like your colleagues in Dartford and Faversham, or are you counting down the time till you are defenestrated?

    Craig, you are getting worse by the week,in my wildest imagination, I could not have foreseen a diatribe from you on counterfeit stamps and private school fees.Are you trying to be voted out at the next election? Is there something else you want to do, are we keeping you? You can always resign, and let someone who is interested in Thanet to have a go.

  10. With masses of anti Craig voters it appears we will have a Labour MP locally at the next General Election. I have a gut feeling that many of those keen on this outcome will soon regret it as every Labour Government during the last 60 or more years has been disastrous . As the saying goes : BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR : History has a habit of repeating itself 😢

    • Think it is the Tory’s that have been a disaster for this country and then the media that is mainly owned by Tory donors spread the lies that it is all Labours fault.

      The sorry state of the services in this country and the lack of them is down to one party, that is the Tory party, no excuses! They have wrecked this country in the last 13 years and have stumbled from one disaster to the next scandal in a never ending display of how to run a country into the ground while all the time making sure your donors and rich elite are looked after.

      • Statistically the country has always done better with a Labour government, you wouldn’t have a Welfare State if it wasn’t for them! The Tory’s have looted the country over the last 13 years, and the government consists of no hopers! If the Conservatives get back in they will finish the job of turning GB into a 3rd World country! Mackinlay don’t forget is a traitor trying to promote the re-opening of Manston which the people of Thanet have shown they don’t want!

      • Are you referring to Mackinlay Not Impressed? No, I don’t think he reads the Daily Mail, the Sun perhaps!

  11. Shock tory mp thinks private schools shouldnt pay VAT. Anything to help his mates and voters.

    VAT should be charged as it’s not a necessity

  12. State schools pay VAT Craig Mackinlay. If you weren’t such a hypocrite you’d be campaigning for the same charge on public schools. As another comment said, why don’t you resign and save the pain of being voted out.

  13. Look at the very few MPs who stood up against the lockdowns and the very many cowards who didn’t, regardless of their party. The lockdowns caused enormous economic, health and educational harms from which there is no easy way to recover. The right vs left game is just a distraction for the minions imo.

      • Well so called Democrat, the entire world went into Lockdown including the Chinese, which didn’t stop over 550 people in Thanet alone from being killed by Covid, according to TDC’s weekly statistic, before they took the website down!

  14. NacKinlay – do you not care a toss about rubbish? are you after Helen Whateley’s job?

  15. I don’t think he is very popular – lol! What puzzles me is how did he get voted in in the first place?

    • It was either him or Farage Gary, but come to think of it laughing boy may have been a better choice!

  16. Without Landlords , it is clear and obvious there would be many more homeless families as there is a severe shortage of Social housing . Most people that dislike Landlords would certainly get a shock if they tried being a Landlord themselves. Craig is a hard working , local family man doing his best for South Thanet and has to be admired for his strength of character . With so many intent on making mad comments and criticising him when he does his utmost to promote Thanet is unbelievable.

    • What a large! You almost had me fooled then!!
      “local family man doing his best for South Thanet”

      Craig asks “Why would a rational Landlord (of which I’ll state clearly that I am one) evict a tenant merely because the abstract right exists?)
      Because, Craig, having got shot of that awkward family occupying your spare seaside hones for the past few years, you can re-let them as Air B&B holiday let’s at a *huge* profit.

    • He isn’t “local” he isn’t from Thanet and doesn’t live here.

      He isn’t hard working. I’ve had many dealings with him.
      He rarely addresses any issues people in Thanet are suffering from and 90% of the time is on the wrong side of the argument.

  17. Not Impressed would only need to think back to the last days of Labour rule when the banks had to be saved from going bust and had to be bailed out by the taxpayers . The base rate fell to half a per cent which instantly devalued savings. Thus many older prudent people purchased a property or 2 to get a decent return from their life s savings making them accidental Landlords. Many benefits from this have disappeared , with the Tory hierarchy withdrawing the interest element of any loans no longer able to set against tax. So as it seems everybody hates Landlords. As it becomes extremely difficult to evict any tenant more & more private Landlords will sell up making a shortage which in turn will push up rents. Maybe Not Impressed fancies buying up a few homes and renting them out cheaply. Every action causes a reaction ; be careful what you wish for 🫢

    • The banking collapse of 2008 had absolutely nothing to do with the then Labour government, and everything to do with wild speculation by Western banks, playing fast and loose with our money.
      I note that the current Tory government is keen to relax the rules put in place after the disaster, thus paving the way for a repetition.
      The problems with rented accommodation can be traced back to Thatcher, and her facilitating the selling off of council housing. If there was adequate local authority provision, then tenants would not be in thrall to private landlords.
      The sad thing about Labour is that it has shown no sign of repealing the “Right to Buy” legislation.

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