Lib Dem calls for Home Secretary to 'resign and get out the way' in tents row - The Evesham Observer

Lib Dem calls for Home Secretary to 'resign and get out the way' in tents row

Evesham Editorial 10th Nov, 2023   0

HOME Secretary Suella Braverman has been told to ‘resign and get out the way’ by a Pershore Liberal Democrat councillor who revealed he was homeless at the age of 17.

Coun Dan Boatright-Greene, the party’s parliamentary candidate for the next General Election, delivered the call in a letter to Ms Braverman which called on her to go if she couldn’t find the compassion to help those in need rather than ‘criminalising’ them.

His outburst follows the Home Secretary’s bid to ban those who cause ‘nuisance and distress to other people’ by pitching tents in public spaces, aggressively begging, stealing, taking drugs, littering, and ‘blighting our communities’.

The proposal was not in Tuesday’s (November 7) King’s Speech setting out the government’s priorities for the year ahead but it’s thought measures could still be included in the proposed Criminal Justice Bill.

In a series of posts on social media Ms Braverman said: “The British people are compassionate. We will always support those who are genuinely homeless.

“But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.




“Unless we step in now to stop this, British cities will go the way of places in the US like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where weak policies have led to an explosion of crime, drug taking, and squalor.

“Nobody in Britain should be living in a tent on our streets. There are options for people who don’t want to be sleeping rough, and the government is working with local authorities to strengthen wraparound support including treatment for those with drug and alcohol addiction.


“What I want to stop, and what the law-abiding majority wants us to stop, is those who cause nuisance and distress to other people by pitching tents in public spaces, aggressively begging, stealing, taking drugs, littering, and blighting our communities.”

Coun Boatright-Greene slammed her comments and said he too could have ‘fallen through the net’ without the kindness of strangers.

“I could easily have ended up in one of those tents you are so keen to ban. Being ‘genuinely homeless’ is not always easy to see,” he said.

“Some of us learn how to sofa surf, we have people around us who do not want to leave us in the cold but there are nights when you can find yourself on a train station bench.

“I know what it feels like. It is not a lifestyle choice. I never broke the law. Most people who are homeless don’t break the law.”

“If we don’t want people to live in such poor conditions, start funding our services better.

“Citizen’s Advice needs funding properly so they can do their job. The charity Shelter is overwhelmed with residents trying to get the support they need,” he added.

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