Responding to reports that the Government has written to all local councils asking them to find homes for all rough sleepers by the weekend to protect them from the coronavirus outbreak, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:
"It is right that the Government is taking urgent action to find secure accommodation for rough sleepers, as Liberal Democrats have called for since this crisis began.
"The Government must also equip local authorities with the financial resources to provide sufficient secure emergency accommodation to meet demand. Ministers must also make specialist support available to those who struggle with addiction or other mental health issues, as is the case for so many people sleeping rough right across the UK.
"Ultimately, this annoucement must be the first step towards long term efforts to end rough sleeping, not just in the face of the current crisis. The Government can make that commitment today by supporting my Bill to scrap the Vagrancy Act, repealing a Dickensian law which needlessly criminalises rough sleepers."