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Hove MP raised squatting at Prime Minister’s Questions

Hove MP Mike Weatherley criticised the Squatters Network of Brighton (and Hove Actually) at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today (Wednesday 23 May).

The Conservative MP said: “Last weekend the Squatters Network of Brighton and Hove invited its anarchist friends from around Europe to campaign against what they call Weatherley’s law.

“Will the Prime Minister condemn, with me, the Green Party’s support for squatters and welcome, as I do, the criminalisation of squatting?”

David Cameron replied: “I certainly support what my honourable friend says. This law was long overdue.

“It is very important that home owners have proper protection from people, in effect, stealing their property, which is what squatting is. It is a criminal act and it is now a criminal offence.”

Mr Weatherley has been campaigning for squatting to be criminalised since his election to Parliament in 2010.

Mike Weatherley

He said that squatting was a huge problem in Brighton and Hove, with numerous instances of this organised and frequently menacing behaviour blighting the lives of ordinary people.

A change in the law is expected soon which will see squatting in residential properties made a criminal offence.

The new legislation has been dubbed “Weatherley’s Law” by its supporters and by squatters.

Mr Weatherley said: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister strongly supports the criminalisation of squatting.

“I have been working hard since I was elected to ensure that squatters can no longer take advantage of ordinary citizens.

“It’s not right, it’s not fair and it now it will rightly be a criminal offence.”

The Squatters Network of Brighton (and Hove Actually) – or SNOB(AHA) – held a “convergence” in St James’s Street, Brighton, from Thursday (17 May) until Sunday (20 May). The last people left on Monday evening (21 May).

The group’s website said: “Over 100 people came from faraway lands, such as France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Norway, Manchester, London, Bristol and Lewes.

“It was a great weekend where over 20 workshops and skill shares took place.”

They included community responses to sexual violence, Squatters Legal Network, and women’s DIY health.

Speakers came from Calais Migrant Solidarity, Smash EDO, Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and Traveller Solidarity.

 

4 comments to Hove MP raised squatting at Prime Minister’s Questions

  • Valerie Paynter,

    Anyone invading and ‘squatting’ a home that is full of personal belongings and effects, while its tenants are out or on holiday is more than just criminal. There are no words for what they do, just vengeful thoughts.

    But if this is just a criminalising of RESIDENTIAL property, then it does not entirely criminalise squatting. And not all squatting is to be condemned.

  • Jon

    I agree Valerie but that’s not what squatting is. What you described was already illegal. What should be illegal is in a country where homelesness is an increasing problem, buildings are left empty and derrelict for years. Squatting is putting use to buildings which would otherwise be unused and it’s not just anarchists that are squatters. Many homeless squat houses as they have no other choice. This law is yet another attack on the poor by the rich elites of the ConDems.

  • Valerie Paynter,

    Jon, if squatting a lived-in home is already illegal, how come the police cannot just drag these #*%@*+# OUT, sling them in jail or deport them? HEAD FIRST!

  • Dan Ashton

    Valerie, they can ad do drag them out, it is illegal to squat a residential property that is lived in. You can only squat properties that have no-one living in them, be that owner or tenant. You’ve been reading the Daily Mail again haven’t you Valerie?

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