Russell Brand, who has been campaigning on behalf of Hackney’s New Era residents has threatened to sue The Sun newspaper over allegations that he is a “hypocrite”
According to the Rupert Murdoch owned Sun, Brand’s loft apartment in Hoxton, is allegedly rented from a company based in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven.
Brand, who has been supporting the New Era estate residents who claim they face eviction because of massive rent rises by new owners, has also criticised tax-avoiding companies.
He tweeted yesterday:
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) December 2, 2014
JFT96 stands for Justice for the 96, a reference to those who lost their lives in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster. In April, Brand won libel damages from The Sun on Sunday, which he also donated to the campaign.
The residents of New Era posted a response to what they described as a “scum newspaper report” on their Facebook page New Era 4 All, describing Brand as a “kind and caring person”.
Speaking out in defence of their celebrity supporter, residents’ leader Lindsey Garrett said: “At least Russell’s prepared to help people. David Cameron isn’t… Thank God there are people like [Brand] who are prepared to step out and help people like us.”
On Monday, Brand joined families of the New Era estate in marching to 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition against the estate’s new owners, Westbrook Partners. Nearly 300,000 people signed the petition, delivered by Brand, Diane Abbott MP and Garrett.
Outside Downing Street Brand was interviewed by Paraic O’Brien a Channel 4 News reporter , who asked Brand how much he pays to rent his flat. When accused of being one of the “super-rich” responsible for the London housing crisis, Brand labelled the journalist “a snide”.
Responding on Twitter, O’Brien said that he believed that the rich people were entitled to campaign but that it is his job “to test tension between private circumstances & publicly held views of celebrities”.
In an editorial, The Sun described Brand as a “leftie caricature”. The newspaper said: “Brand’s childlike grasp of the world and attraction to long-ago debunked conspiracy nonsense are worrying in a middle-aged man.”