Boris Johnson says he wants to 'end rough sleeping' for good as he unveils homelessness plan – live news


Good morning. We have got two major news announcements coming this morning – the court of appeal decision on the Heathrow third runway, which could kill off the scheme given that Boris Johnson has reportedly decided not to appeal to the supreme court if the proposal is ruled illegal, and the UK’s negotiating mandate for the post-Brexit trade talks with the EU – but first we are getting rough sleeping figures for England being published.

As my colleague Robert Booth reports, the credibility of the official figures is being questioned following BBC research showing that the true level of rough sleeping seems to be five times higher than the government statistics imply.

The publication of the new figures coincides with Boris Johnson announcing a major initiative in this area. Johnson, who is visting a homelessness charity this morning, has said that he wants to end rough sleeping within this parliament (ie, by the end of 2024). In a statement issued overnight he said:


It is simply unacceptable that we still have so many people sleeping on the streets, and I am absolutely determined to end rough sleeping once and for all.

Today I’ve announced extra funding to help thousands more people get off the streets, and I have appointed Dame Louise Casey as an adviser to undertake an urgent review into the causes of rough sleeping and provide expert advice on vital next steps.

We must tackle the scourge of rough sleeping urgently, and I will not stop until the thousands of people in this situation are helped off the streets and their lives have been rebuilt.

A press release with more details says the government is allocating an extra £236m to address the problem. As well as appointing Casey, who “will provide the government with advice on additional action required to end rough sleeping within this parliament”, the government says the extra money will go “towards offering Housing First style ‘move on’ accommodation for up to 6,000 rough sleepers and those at immediate risk of rough sleeping”. Housing First is a strategy for tackling rough sleeping pioneered in Finland which is rated by the experts in this area.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30am: Annual rough sleeping figures for England are published.

9.30am: Quarterly migration figures are published.

9.30am: Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, takes questions in the Commons.

10am: The court of appeal will rule on legal challenge against the plan for a third runway at Heathrow.

After 11.15am: Gove is expected to make a statement to MPs about the government’s negotiating mandate for the post-Brexit trade talks with the EU.

At some point today Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, is meeting the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer.

As usual, I will be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to post a summary when I wrap up.

You can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here. Here is the Politico Europe roundup of this morning’s political news. And here is the PoliticsHome list of today’s top 10 must-reads.

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