A proposal to fine charities that provide tents to rough sleepers will not be going ahead, the Home Office has confirmed.
The Financial Times newspaper reported last week that Suella Braverman, the then-Home Secretary, planned to criminalise the use of tents by all people sleeping rough as part of a new criminal justice bill for England and Wales.
Under the plans, charities that provided tents to homeless people could be fined if the recipient went on to cause a public nuisance, the newspaper said.
But the idea was not mentioned in the King’s Speech and a spokesperson for the Home Office told Third Sector today there were no plans to introduce the proposal.
In a post on X last week, Braverman said: “The British people are compassionate. We will always support those who are genuinely homeless.
“But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.”
She was sacked as Home Secretary on Monday.
Her original proposal was met with significant backlash from 15 homelessness charities including Crisis, St Mungo’s and Centrepoint, which published an open letter to Braverman calling for her to “urgently reconsider” the proposal, which would “push people further into destitution”.
The comedian Joe Lycett also responded to the former Home Secretary, arguing that lifestyle choices were “things such as cargo pants, fishing, and decorating your bathroom with a bowl of pot pourri”.
He launched a campaign that raised more than £70,000 for Crisis and thanked Braverman, saying that without her “lifestyle choice, of being callous and cruel towards the most vulnerable people in society, none of this would’ve happened”.