During Prime Minister’s Questions today Lib Dem MP Layla Moran urged Theresa May to scrap a law dating back to the 1820s that is still being used to drag thousands of homeless people before the courts each year for rough sleeping.
Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran has asked the Prime Minister to scrap the Vagrancy Act 1824 which makes rough sleeping illegal.
The legislation dates back to King George IV and despite having been repealed in Scotland and Northern Ireland it is still being used to arrest homeless people sleeping rough in England and Wales.
Responding to Layla Moran, Prime Minister Theresa May refused to give the Government’s support to the campaign, instead listing measures the Government are taking to support rough sleepers.
Following Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today, Layla Moran presented her Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill to the House of Commons. If Layla Moran’s Bill becomes law it would repeal the Vagrancy Act in its entirety which would see an end to people being arrested just because they don’t have anywhere to sleep at night.
Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons Layla Moran MP said:
“I am disappointed that the Prime Minister won’t back my campaign to change the law to end the criminalisation of rough sleepers. This issue is being raised with me time and time again by residents across Oxford West and Abingdon who continue to be concerned about the heavy-handed way that homeless people in our area are being treated.
“I’ll be keeping up the pressure on the Government and will continue the fight to change the law. We must end the situation where homeless people can still be arrested and dragged before the courts for sleeping rough using a heartless, Dickensian law dating back to 1824.