Rishi Sunak ditches Suella Braverman's ban on tents for the homeless as ring-wing Tories revolt grows

14 November 2023, 16:21

Suella Braverman's proposal to ban homeless people sleeping in tents has been shelved following her sacking
Suella Braverman's proposal to ban homeless people sleeping in tents has been shelved following her sacking. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

Rishi Sunak has killed off Suella Braverman's proposed crackdown on homeless people sleeping in tents after sacking her as home secretary.

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Downing Street said it has shelved plans to fine charities who hand out tents to rough sleepers, as well as ban people from sleeping in tents in towns and cities.

It is understood the Prime Minister's decision to fire Mrs Braverman was prompted partly by the controversy over her hardline approach to rough sleeping.

She was slammed after claiming many people living on the streets were doing so as a "lifestyle choice".

Suella Braverman, between James Cleverly, right, and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer, left, at the Remembrance Day service. She was sacked the following day
Suella Braverman, between James Cleverly, right, and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer, left, at the Remembrance Day service. She was sacked the following day. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Teacher wanted by police after holding sign comparing Sunak and Braverman to coconuts at Palestine protest

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But Mrs Braverman's ousting from Cabinet - which came after another row over her stance on pro-Palestinian protests - has infuriated the Tory Right.

She had insisted the Government could not "allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice".

Mrs Braverman claimed that without action, British cities were at risk of ending up like San Francisco and Los Angeles where "weak policies have led to an explosion of crime, drug taking, and squalor.

"What I want to stop, and what the law abiding majority wants us to stop, is those who cause nuisance and distress to other people by pitching tents in public spaces, aggressively begging, stealing, taking drugs, littering, and blighting our communities," she said.

It was reported that Mrs Braverman had pitched the inclusion of tough new laws as part of the new Criminal Justice Bill, which was unveiled as part of the King's Speech last week.

This included a new civil penalty for charities to stop them giving out tents to homeless people for free, as well as a ban on tents in urban areas - except on people's own land.

The PM's official spokesman said: "It's not going to be introduced in the Criminal Justice Bill. I'm not aware of any plans for its introduction elsewhere."

Member of the Tory right have reacted furiously to yesterday's reshuffle.

One group of Braverman supporters - known as the New Conservatives - made a fierce intervention against what they view as the Prime Minister's 'centrist' shift.

In a statement they accused Mr Sunak of abandoning 'Red Wall' voters who delivered Boris Johnson's 80-seat majority at the 2019 general election.

Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger, the co-chairpeople of the group, warned the PM he was "walking away" from those voters who brought the Tories their victory four years ago.

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