In Brief

Tributes to homeless man who died metres from Parliament

Jeremy Corbyn says ‘the powerful cannot keep walking by’ in message of condolence

wd_160225_homeless.jpg

Questions are being raised about whether Britain is doing enough to help society’s most disadvantaged after a homeless man died in freezing weather in central London, just metres from the entrance to Parliament.

A handwritten card signed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was placed at the entrance of Westminster underground station, along with a bouquet of flowers. It read: “This should never have happened. As a country we must stop walking by.”

Police found the body yesterday morning after being called to investigate an unresponsive man in one of the underpasses, The Guardian reports.

The death comes weeks after a Bournemouth council said it was removing “anti-homeless” bars from benches after a fierce backlash, iNews reports.

In 2010, at the end of the last Labour government, 1,768 people were reportedly sleeping rough. In late 2017, that figure sat at 4,751 people. From the records of deaths in England between 2001-2009, a total of 1,731 were identified as having been homeless people, a study by the University of Sheffield shows. Drug and alcohol abuse were among the most common causes of death.

Rough sleeping in England has increased for the seventh consecutive year, official government figures show. Charities say even this steep rise “fails to capture the true level of street homelessness”, the Guardian writes.

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