Over the years, I have spent around five months sleeping rough on the streets of London, Birmingham and New York, making undercover TV programmes. Matthew, who works in my Westminster office, spent last summer involuntarily homeless after he was cheated by his business partner. I suspect we are the only people within the Palace of Westminster who have been through the unpleasant experience of sleeping rough, and we both have come to the same conclusion. Street homelessness (as opposed to the homelessness of temporary accommodation) is, for the most part, a symptom or consequence of a different problem: addiction to drink or drugs, or mental illness. If politicians want to deal with it, they must accept this.
Homelessness is a popular subject in SW1.