MPs build barrier to stop homeless people ‘stinking’ out underpass

Parliament builds a four foot security gate to stop homeless people ‘stinking’ out underground entrance to the Commons

  • Gate can only be accessed with a Parliamentary pass to get to Portcullis House 
  • MPs have come under fire from the homelessness campaign charity Shelter  
  • Some parliamentarians have even slammed the decision to build gate as ‘harsh’

MPs have come under fire after a four-foot security barrier was erected in a Westminster public underpass to reportedly stop homeless people ‘stinking’ out their route to work. 

The gate, which can only be accessed with a Parliamentary pass, cuts off the Portcullis House end of the walkway which is often used as shelter by rough sleepers. 

But the decision to prevent the capital’s homeless from straying too close to the MPs’ entrance poured petrol on an view held by campaigners that lawmakers are not doing enough to tackle the growing problem.

And the barrier has been built just yards from the spot where one rough sleeper was found dead only months ago. 

The four-foot security barrier was erected in a Westminster public underpass and can only be accessed with a Parliamentary pass

Rough sleepers often use the walkway as shelter but the decision to prevent the capital’s homeless from straying too close to the MPs’ entrance poured petrol on an view held by campaigners that lawmakers are not doing enough to tackle the growing problem

Greg Beales, from the homelessness campaign Shelter, slammed politicians for failing to get a grip on the soaring numbers of rough sleepers.

In a stinging rebuke to MPs, he said the crisis would be solved ‘not with barriers but by providing the support and assistance we know can help people to access a safe and stable home’, according to the Sun.

MPs have reportedly been complaining that the underground passage ‘stinks’ when they walk through it on their route to work. 

Yet the controversial barrier has triggered an internal row among parliamentarians, with some hitting out at the ‘harsh’ measures.

Greg Beales, from the homelessness campaign Shelter, slammed politicians for erecting the barrier 

The walkway will reportedly stop homeless people from straying too close to the Portcullis House entrance (pictured) on the Parliamentary Estate

In June, Liberal Democrat Layla Moran, wrote a letter to the House of Commons Commission urging the authority to ditch the ‘out of sight out of mind mentality’.

The Oxfordshire MP wrote: ‘After a homeless man was found dead in Westminster station on December 19 last year, it concerns me that Parliament is acting in a seemingly harsh manner only months after this tragedy.

She added: ‘We must avoid the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that is the cause of so many issues regarding how we treat the homeless in our society.’

Gyula Remes, 43, was found unconscious in the tunnel near Westminster station in the early hours of December 19 last year and was later declared dead 

Gyula Remes, 43, was found unconscious in the tunnel near Westminster station in the early hours of December 19 last year.

He had moved to London from his home country of Hungary in 2006 and had been sleeping rough around the city ever since. 

When news broke of his death, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led the tributes which began pouring in from MPs.

He said: ‘I’ve just been told about the death of a rough sleeper right by the entrance to Parliament.

‘The powerful can’t keep walking by on the other side while people don’t have a home to call their own.

‘It’s time MPs took up this moral challenge and properly housed everyone.’  

A House of Commons spokesperson said of the new barrier: ‘We are in the process of transferring ownership of the area to Parliament and have installed a pass activated gate to better manage the area for those entering the Estate.’ 

Floral tributes placed in coffee cups and beer cans are pictured in the spot where Mr Remes was found, in the tunnel near Westminster station in central London 

In June, Liberal Democrat Layla Moran, wrote a letter to the House of Commons Commission urging the authority to ditch the ‘out of sight out of mind mentality’

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