In a tragic story which fell largely by the wayside, a homeless man died of hypothermia earlier this year after sleeping in the doorway of an abandoned building in Aylesbury, Kent.
Daniel Gauntlett was just 35 years old when he was found dead outside the empty bungalow at the end of February. Reports claim he had previously attempted to sleep inside the boarded up property but had been prevented after police were called. The bungalow was due to be bulldozed.
Some housing campaigners have laid the blame for his death directly at the feet of Mike Weatherley, the Tory MP who proposed the legislation which makes squatting in any residential property a criminal offence. It is not just Weatherley who has blood on his hands. Almost every Labour MP also voted for the new laws which were not only built on lies but removed an ancient and historic legal right.
Dishonest MPs claimed the new legislation was to prevent squatters taking over properties whilst people went on holiday following a string of lurid stories in the right wing press. In truth there were already more than adequate laws to prevent this from taking place. A letter recently published by The Guardian and signed by 40 top lawyers claims that of the 33 known arrests so far not a single one has been due to someone being displaced from their home by squatters. At least 3 homeless people are known to have been jailed under the new laws.