Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran is urging the Government to adopt her legislation this year and “finally scrap the Vagrancy Act” during a homelessness debate in Parliament today.
Ahead of the debate, 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.
The Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill being pushed by Layla Moran can be viewed here.
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