29 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Layla Moran: “Make 2020 the year that we finally scrap the Vagrancy Act”

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran will today urge the Government to adopt her legislation this year and “finally scrap the Vagrancy Act” during a homelessness debate in Parliament.

The MP will warn that “even one person sleeping rough in this country in 2020 is a disgrace” as she brings back to Parliament her campaign to scrap the Vagrancy Act.

Layla Moran is also expected to warn against the “out of sight, out of mind mentality’” shown in the installation of a new gate close to MPs’ and peers’ private entrance to Westminster tube station.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:

Even one person sleeping rough in this country in 2020 is a disgrace. We need to be taking a more compassionate approach to tackling this crisis. The Vagrancy Act, a Dickensian law from 1824 that criminalises rough sleeping, represents the first hurdle on that journey.

According to a new survey commissioned by the charity Crisis, 71% of people think arresting people for sleeping rough is a waste of police time. Over half said that it shouldn’t be a crime at all, and of course it shouldn’t!

Liberal Democrats want to make 2020 the year that we finally scrap the Vagrancy Act. Ministers should be in no doubt, my Bill can be brought back in a heartbeat with their support.

Frankly, if there was a sizeable amount of political will in this House to spend £500,000 to make Big Ben bong for Brexit, then I firmly believe that there must be the will to repeal this law and work harder to eliminate homelessness in all its forms.

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2 Comments

  • Most rough sleepers seem to be wrecked by alcohol and/or drugs, so once new laws are introduced to deal with that via rehabilitation centres then the vagrancy act can go. Watch out for the Conservatives building hostels in Labour strongholds, as well.

  • Spend money on ‘Big Bong’ and spend money on a gate but not solve the problem!. Dealing with the problem the US way ‘out of sight out of mind’ ;How about a demonstration outside this gate, with media invited, to highlight this concern..Yes. to highlight their’concern’ they could build ,donate, places, money in non Tory areas to put the burden on others and say ‘We do not have the problem of rough sleepers in our areas,passing the buck as Americans say.
    Deviousness can be shown as with Shapps re. Dr Beeching cuts to railways saying it was Labour ‘wot done it’ ignoring that it was Tories that started it then ,having said they would not cut lines Labour followed suit although they did build some lines and saved others, BOTH caused our railway shortage. The point being beware of Labour and Cons deviousness.

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