MPs speak out after death of homeless man near Commons
MPs have expressed their sadness after a man believed to have been a rough sleeper died a stone’s throw from the entrance to parliament.
Police were called to an underpass at Westminster tube station just after 7.15am yesterday following reports of someone “unresponsive” in an area where homeless people gather, just outside a Commons side entrance. The ambulance service attended, but the man was pronounced dead at 7.33am.
MPs highlighted the death on Twitter, and criticised policies they said had contributed to a sharp increase in rough sleepers in the UK.
Homelessness has increased for six years, with a record 4,751 people recorded as sleeping rough last autumn, according to official figures. The number has doubled since 2010, with a 73% rise in the past three years.
The number of children stuck in temporary accommodation has risen by 70% to more than 120,000.
The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, tweeted: “A homeless man seen frequently at the tube entrance to Portcullis House has been found dead. Whatever the circumstances, it’s a terrible tragedy that somebody ends their days like this, the govt must do more to combat homelessness.”
The Labour MP Neil Coyle said: “I’ve been told that the man who died on parliament’s doorstep this morning was homeless. What an appalling indictment of government failure.”
Earlier this month, Windsor council was accused of punishing people for being homeless after it announced that it would fine rough sleepers £100 as part of a new “support strategy”.
Scotland Yard said the death of the unnamed man is being treated as unexplained, but not suspicious. A Commons spokesman said: “We are saddened to hear of the death of an individual this morning at Westminster tube station and offer our condolences to friends and family.”