Responding to the Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s proposals to make it a civil offence for charities to give tents to rough sleepers, and calling homelessness a ‘lifestyle choice’, Labour candidate for Milton Keynes Central Emily Darlington has hit out at the “insensitive” and “infantilising” comments.
In a now-viral twitter thread published on Sunday 5thNovember, Emily – also the cabinet member for housing on Milton Keynes Council – set out the steps she and her team took to end rough sleeping in Milton Keynes, once known as ‘tent city’.
In contrast, the numbers of people sleeping rough in Britain have increased dramatically after 13 years of Conservative failure in government, rising 74% since 2010.
Addressing the Home Secretary directly, Emily Darlington, Labour’s candidate for Milton Keynes Central, said:
“Making tents a civil offence is not the way to end rough sleeping Suella Braverman. Bringing statutory and voluntary services together is the only way to help rough sleepers on the road to success.
“Instead of making insensitive comments and infantilising homeless people, the Government should start by taking responsibility for the desperate state of mental health services and the shortage of decent, secure and affordable housing after thirteen years of Conservative failure.
“A toxic mix of lack of mental health services and drug and alcohol treatment, with rising rents and a failure to end no-fault evictions are hitting vulnerable people, yet after years of delay the Tories still haven’t kept their promises to act.
“Labour will act where the Tories have failed. We will work with voluntary organisations rather than punishing them. We will get the NHS back on its feet. And we will build the housing needed to get people into safe, secure homes.”