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MP welcomes minister’s commitment to scrap ‘outdated and outrageous’ law which criminalises people for being homeless

April 15, 2021 2:45 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the Government's pledge to scrap a pre-Victorian law which makes it a criminal offence to beg or be homeless on the street in England and Wales.

The Vagrancy Act, which was passed by Parliament back in 1824, can lead to people being fined £1,000 and given a criminal record for sleeping on the streets.

Tim is a co-sponsor of a new Parliamentary Bill introduced by fellow Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, which would repeal the Vagrancy Act.

In Parliament this week, the Minister for Rough Sleeping Eddie Hughes said that he "wholeheartedly" agreed it was "time to reconsider the Vagrancy Act", declaring that "its time has been and gone".

Tim said: "The Vagrancy Act is an utterly outrageous and outdated law which shames our country.

"I'm pleased to see the minister acknowledge this, but we need more than warm words - we need action.

"Let's consign this disgraceful Act to the history books where it belongs and focus getting people off the streets and into a decent home so they can live with dignity."