The council has dropped its plan to ban lying down on the street and soup runs for the homeless after widespread opposition.
The byelaw was proposed back in March in an attempt to curb ‘litter and disturbance’. We rather thought that the issue of homelessness would be more important but Westminster apparently thought that turning homelessness into a crime would be a far better method of
social cleansing dealing with the nuisance of people messing up the pristine borough. The proposal, which saw Labour MPs joining forces with church representatives and charities, also sparked a flashmob lying down protest.
Westminster have agreed to work with organisers of soup runs, presumably to ensure that those inconvenient rough-sleepers don’t make the place look untidy, but are still holding on to the threat of legislative action. Protesters camping in Parliament Square have already found themselves described as ‘a blight’ and in court over their peace campaign after Brian Haw lost his appeal against eviction.