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Sally Rooney takes time off from fiction to bash landlords

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 20/03/2023 Robbie Griffiths

Voice of the millennial generation Sally Rooney has taken a detour from writing her next novel to slam “the relatively small and wealthy population group” known as private landlords.

Writing in the Irish Times, the Normal People author jokes that landlords “never seem to run out of other people’s money”, inverting a quip about socialists made by Margaret Thatcher.

Rooney was moved to write as the Irish government ended a ban on evictions: she predicts many will soon be made homeless. London has a renting crisis, too: landlords are now asking more than £3,000 per month for an average home in central London.

“Consider the psychological hardship of trying to make a life for yourself and your family in what is ultimately someone else’s spare house” she writes. “Your home – your place in the world, your refuge, the stage for all the private dramas of your intimate life – can be taken away from you at any time, through no fault of your own, for the financial benefit of someone wealthier than you are.”

Rooney, who is a self-confessed Marxist, goes on: “the State needs to start moving our rental stock out of the hands of private investors, and into the hands of State housing bodies”, and a fall in house prices would be a good thing. Many normal people may well agree.

Power of three at St. Andrews’s

Actors Ed McVey, as Prince William and actress Meg Bellamy, who plays Kate Middleton (PA) © Provided by Evening Standard Actors Ed McVey, as Prince William and actress Meg Bellamy, who plays Kate Middleton (PA)

A familiar face has turned up in St Andrews, where Netflix are filming a remarkably accurate recreation of Wills and Kate’s meeting at university for a new series of The Crown. Oli Green, the partner of Sienna Miller, is set to play a love rival of the flaxen-haired prince, recent shots from the set show. Ed McVey plays a young Wills, while Meg Bellamy is Kate Middleton. Green is pictured holding Kate’s hand, while William gets jealous. Current St Andrews students have posted videos online showing the plot line developing. Off with his head...

Gear change at Vogue

Vogue UK editor Edward Enninful has hit out at the lack of plus-size models at recent fashion weeks, saying: “I thought I had gotten into a time machine”. Enninful thinks the industry is still too obsessed with skinny, despite claiming it has changed. “It felt like we were slipping back,” Enninful added, with “show after show dominated by one body type” while “so many women around the world were being ignored”. In response, he has featured models Paloma Elsesser, Precious Lee and Jill Kortleve on next month’s issue.

Globe-trotting celebs

Designer Patrick Cox welcomed friends such as Elizabeth Hurley, David Walliams and David Furnish to his 60th birthday in Ibiza at the weekend. Hurley told Cox: “Thank you for making the world a better place for 60 years”. In Germany, Kylie Minogue promoted her wine at a trade fair in Düsseldorf. Back here, Paris Hilton signed her new book, while at the Londoner hotel actors Rafe Spall and Giles Terera and singer Beverley Knight went to the Olivier Awards nominations.

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