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MP welcomes ‘big step forward’ in campaign to scrap law which criminalises people for being homeless

January 23, 2022 5:07 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has warmly welcomed the news that the House of Lords have voted to repeal a law which makes it a criminal offence to sleep rough.

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

Last year, Tim co-sponsored the Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill, introduced by fellow Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, and joined cross-party MPs in writing to the Housing Secretary urging him to scrap this "archaic and outdated law".

This week a House of Lords amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to repeal the Vagrancy Act passed by 144 votes to 101.

This amendment will now come back to the House of Commons for MPs to the have the chance to vote to consign the Act to the history books.

Tim said: "This is a really big step forward.

"No one should be criminalised for sleeping rough and I hope now my fellow MPs in the House of Commons will follow the House of Lords in voting to scrap the Vagrancy Act.

"Let's get rid of this outrageous and outdated law and focus on getting people off the streets and into a decent home so they can live with dignity."