hit tracker Rough sleepers could be fined £2,500 or even jailed under proposed laws – but Rishi Sunak faces rebellion over plans – Newsmix.pics

Rough sleepers could be fined £2,500 or even jailed under proposed laws – but Rishi Sunak faces rebellion over plans

RISHI Sunak is facing another revolt from Tory MPs over plans to criminalise homelessness.

Up to 40 backbenchers are plotting to rebel against the Criminal Justice Bill, which which would allow cops to fine “nuisance” rough sleepers £2,500 or even lock them up.

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Ministers are facing backlash over plans which would allow cops to fine “nuisance” rough sleepers[/caption]

The new law would also permit police to move on homeless people, ban begging and expand powers to conduct drugs tests on arrested suspects.

The Bill has been iced by No10 while whips scramble to negotiate with MPs opposed and in favour of the move.

And this morning Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake refused to say if even he would back it.

The ally of the PM told Times Radio: “I believe that those things are not within my auspices.

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“I’ll be interested to see the legislation as it goes through. And what the Prime Minister has planned.”

Mr Hollinrake added that where there are hostels available sleeping on the street “shouldn’t be optional”.

He said: “They shouldn’t be lying on the streets.

“It is not fair to other people in our town and city centres.”

The revolt against the Bill is being championed by joint-1922 committee chief Bob Blackman.

And it has the backing of dozens of One Nation moderate MPs, including former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and ex-minister Damian Green.

Mr Blackman said: “A lot of colleagues believe that the bill as it stands is completely unacceptable because it would have the effect of criminalising people who have no choice but to sleep on the streets.

“We are urging ministers to think again.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, said: “Parliament must not enact this legislation.

“Instead of punishing people for being homeless, politicians should be trying to prevent them from ending up on the streets.

“Everyone at risk of sleeping rough should have a right to suitable emergency accommodation, and to end homelessness for good it must invest in genuinely affordable social homes — we need 90,000 a year.”

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