19 June 2019 – the overnight press release

Vagrancy report shows why we need to scrap the Act

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran will today urge the Government to repeal the Vagrancy Act at the launch of Crisis’ report into the case for repealing.

The MP for Oxford West and Abingdon held a debate in the House of Commons in January on her campaign to repeal the Vagrancy Act, which criminalises rough sleeping in England and Wales. Ms Moran also introduced a Bill to repeal it in February 2018.

The report says that the Act “does not tackle the problems people have, and there is evidence that it can also push people further from the help they need.”

Speaking ahead of the launch, Layla Moran MP said:

I absolutely welcome the publication of this report. You can’t ignore the evidence and it is clear that the Government needs to repeal the Dickensian Vagrancy Act. It is making many people’s situation even worse.

Now is the time to act. I will not stop campaigning until we have scrapped this cruel law and we take a more compassionate approach to the homelessness crisis we are facing in this country.

Almost 600 homeless people died on our streets in 2017 alone. We need to end this ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude that the Act promotes and get on with fixing the problem.

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  • Mike Norman 19th Jun '19 - 1:10pm

    As a housing and homelessness solicitor, I fully support this and wish the best of luck with it. Criminalising these types of problem demonstrates a very concerning level of oppression within a theoretically liberal society. Removing the option of ‘out’ can be dangerous if people don’t feel safe. Perhaps it would be different if we had a housing-first model where people were promptly able to access accommodation they felt safe in far earlier.

  • David Becket 19th Jun '19 - 1:34pm

    We do need to fire our press office. They do not have a clue as to how to campaign..
    We are in the middle of a leadership campaign, there is a Tory one going on and we are not getting much publicity. Both contenders have commented on our poor presence in the media. Ed has particularly mentioned the need for short snappy messages.
    Whilst this an important issue it should not be our lead article, and I doubt if any national media will pck it up.

    In this campaign our policy should be:
    Only post notices from Ed or Jo.
    Items relevant to the day, short and snappy.
    By all means be contentious.

    We are missing a golden opportunity

    I have complained about our press releases for years, and nothing changes

  • David Becket 19th Jun '19 - 1:44pm

    Re above
    I give you a sample of what I mean.


    Lib Dem leadership candidates Jo Swinson and Ed Davey combined to attack the Tory approach to Brexit.

    The Tory leadership candidates did a lot of shouting and arm waving on BBC, but none of them had any idea how they would resolve Brexit.

    Lib Dems would put this to a peoples vote, and campaign to Stop Brexit whilst promoting the policies that would address much of the dissatisfaction in this country.
    71 words as opposed to 213 and refers to an issue on the front page of every paper

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