LABOUR have been slammed for scrapping a pledge to bring in rent controls, just nine months after endorsing the policy.

Lisa Nandy – the party’s shadow housing secretary – said in September that she wanted to give local authorities the power to introduce rent controls, adding that: "Doing nothing is not an option."

But speaking at a conference on Wednesday, the Labour frontbencher also signalled that the party would not heed calls for rent controls, instead arguing that “rent controls that cut rents for some, will almost certainly leave others homeless”.

First Minister Humza Yousaf condemned the move on Twitter as “astonishing”, noting how he was proud that the Scottish Government voted to cap rent increases at 3% in most circumstances in March, and continued a ban on evictions.

He tweeted: “Proud the SNP-led Scottish Government not only introduced rent controls but has extended them in order to protect tenants. Labour joining with the Tories in opposing rent controls is quite astonishing.

“At this rate, will Labour have any promises left to break?”

Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer also called out Labour, saying: “Last year @patrickharvie passed the first ever @scotgov bill led by a Green minister, an emergency rent freeze & evictions ban

“His next bill will bring in permanent rent controls & new rights for tenants #GreensInGovernment

“Meanwhile in the Labour party.”

The party’s deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black called out “flip-flopping” Keir Starmer.

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She said: "Under flip-flopping Keir Starmer the pro-Brexit Labour Party is hard to distinguish from the Tories - and has done so many U-turns it'll have no policies left by the election.

"The SNP is the only party offering real change with independence, real support with the cost of living and real opposition to Tory cuts. In contrast, the Tory-lite Labour Party only offers Brexit, austerity cuts and the same damaging policies that got the UK into this mess.

"While Keir Starmer has thrown every progressive policy on the scrap heap, the SNP government is showing how it's done by delivering rent controls, free school meals, free tuition, free personal care, the Scottish Child Payment, higher public sector pay, key services in public hands, and progressive taxation.

"At the next election, voting SNP is the only way to secure independence - so Scotland can escape Brexit, tackle the cost of living and get rid of unelected Tory governments for good."

Following Nandy’s speech, a Labour spokesperson told The Independent that it was unfair to characterise her latest announcement as a U-turn, saying: "A rent freeze has never been Labour party policy."