Theresa May Defends Tory Council Accused Of 'Deplorable' Attitude Towards Homeless People

Ned Simons
(PA Wire/PA Images)

Theresa May has defended the Tory council accused of “deplorable” treatment of homeless people ahead of the royal wedding.

The prime minister told the Commons on Wednesday that Windsor council had taken “a number of actions” to look after the homeless.

Simon Dudley, the Conservative leader of the council, claimed rough sleepers had made a “commercial life choice” to prey on residents and tourists.

He called for action to be taken against “aggressive begging and intimidation” ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on May 19 at Windsor Castle.

In a letter to police, he complained about “aggressive begging and intimidation”, and “bags and detritus” on the streets.

Tan Dhesi, the Labour MP Slough, told May during prime minister’s questions today:

“After the internationally embarrassing news of the Tory council leader from my neighboring Windsor & Maidenhead, and his deplorable attitude with regards to the homeless around the royal wedding, and recent put downs to the prime minister and our government by President Trump, can the prime minister confirm whether she actually wants an invite to be extended for the royal wedding and a state visit to the ‘very stable genius’ from the US who, by the way, seems to be copying all the buzzwords from this not so ‘strong and stable’ government?”

However May said 21 of the 32 homeless people offered accommodation during the recent cold weather had taken up the offer.

“I just think he should beware the Royal Borough has taken a number of actions to support vulnerable residents, including those who are homeless,” she said.

“The establishment of an emergency night shelter which is open 365 days a year, a day service attached to that providing support services to vulnerable residents, a compressive seven-day-a-week service to the homeless or those at risk of homeless.”

May added that she was “not responsible for invitations to the royal wedding”.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, rough sleepers in Windsor rejected claims from Dudley.

“He should come and spend time out on the streets, so he should, if he can show me one person that has been frogmarched any one to a bank or to a cash machine, you know, or any form of aggressive begging, then I will personally go ant put myself in prison for the next five years,” one woman said.