Labour leader asks PM to step in over homeless crisis

Sir Keir Starmer has warned that a rough sleeping crisis this Christmas is “just the tip of an iceberg” of poverty and destitution, ahead of a virtual visit to the West Midlands.

The leader of the opposition will meet with homelessness projects in Worcester and food poverty campaigners in Birmingham.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Starmer urges the Government to work with local councils and mayors to ensure access to Covid-secure winter shelter for rough sleepers.

The party has launched a campaign to ensure everyone has a safe, Covid-secure place to stay this winter. Starmer’s letter warns that, as a result of ‘the Government’s failure’, the rough sleeping crisis is now affecting “towns and cities across the country”. Starmer writes:

“Before the Covid crisis, rough sleeping was a shameful sign of Government failure. We went into this pandemic with twice as many people sleeping rough than in 2010, affecting towns and cities across the country.

“Thousands of rough sleepers risk missing out on life-saving shelter this winter unless the Government supports councils and charities to provide Covid-secure shelter.

“Rough sleeping is a crisis which you pledged to end for good. But it is just the tip of an iceberg – the sharp end of a broken housing system and a society with gaping holes in its safety net.

“Many more people, many of them families with children, will experience homelessness, poverty and destitution this winter.”


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