Eastern Europeans driving homelessness, Tory MP claims (VIDEO)
Adam Holloway, the MP for Gravesham in Kent, made the inflammatory remarks to his parliamentary colleagues in the Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday.
“If we’re to be honest about the correlation between immigration and rising numbers of street homeless, it’s no surprise to me that 1,950 rough sleepers in 2016-2017 were migrants from Romania, Poland and Lithuania. When people are far from home and familial support structures, homelessness is a much greater risk,” he said.
“Some migrants do indeed sleep on the streets by choice, preferring to sleep rough than to pay for accommodation.”
Holloway said he based his claims on his first-hand experience sleeping on the streets during parliamentary recess in February.
“As I wandered round as shawls and brand new trainers who were handed out I honestly didn’t hear English being spoken by anybody. I heard east European languages. I heard Arabic. And I heard Italian,” he said.
“On the subject of people from Eastern Europe, perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves whether it’s exploitative to build an economy on cheap labor provided by those who can barely afford to accommodate themselves in our country.”
The Brexit supporter and former soldier said sleeping on the streets was a lot more comfortable than going on an army exercise.
“I’m 52, I was in the army; to be honest for me sleeping rough in central London is a lot more comfortable than going on exercise in the army,” he said.
“One observation I do have, if you are able-bodied and of sound mind there are all sorts of services – not quite 24 hours a day – that make it possible to sleep out.”
Adam Holloway MP claims £150k a year for two houses but thinks that 'if a person is able bodied and of sound mind they should be able to sleep rough'.— jack |🍴📸📚 (@BootstrapCook) April 25, 2018
In a 13 year Parliamentary career we'd have saved around £2m on his expenses if he genuinely believed this. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/dECLX10TRI
Holloway’s claims that the majority who slept on the streets in UK were foreign nationals were disputed by shadow housing minister Melanie Onn.
Data from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (Chain), a multi-agency database recording information about rough sleepers and the wider street population in London, found 45 percent of rough sleepers in the capital were of UK origin.
But in the whole of England, 16 percent of rough sleepers are EU nationals from outside the UK, and 4 percent are from outside the EU, according to official figures from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.
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