The founder of The Big Issue magazine has called for “grown-up thinking” about homelessness after the Home Secretary sparked anger by suggesting rough sleeping was a lifestyle choice.
Lord John Bird said if the problem is not dealt with when it is a social issue, it becomes a law and order problem.
He said: “If the root causes of poverty and homelessness had been addressed decades ago, you wouldn’t have this need transferred to the streets of the UK.
“We need grown-up thinking rather than responding to the issue with a policy that infers homelessness is a law and order offence, which Suella Braverman is doing here.
“Street homelessness is rarely a lifestyle choice, it’s a sign of a lack of governmental policy that seeks to address the fundamental flaws in our system and means people inevitably fall into the sticky stuff and can’t claw their way out again.
“I have a Bill going through for the creation of a Ministry of Poverty Prevention, which will draw political minds together to produce a finer level of thinking, focusing on the area of prevention and ways in which we can tackle these problems head on.”