Jeremy Corbyn says he would consider allowing homeless people to live at Chequers if he becomes Prime Minister

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will consider allowing homeless people in need to use the Chequers estate, if he is elected next week.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 2:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 2:21 pm
Jeremy Corbyn

Speaking in an interview with Julie Etchingham which is due to air on ITV tomorrow at 7.30pm, the Labour Party hopeful was asked if, like shadow Chancellor John McDonnell he would consider giving up the grace and favour estate to help those in need.

Mr McDonnell has already said that if Labour get in and he becomes Chancellor he will allow a homeless family to live at Number 11 Downing Street.

In response to the question from Ms Etchingham, Mr Corbyn replied: "I would indeed. It can't be right, we're a country with 150 billionaires, and we've still got people sleeping on the streets."

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The move has been welcomed by Fran Bourg-Wheeler, of the Aylesbury-based Youth Concern charity.

Youth Concern, which has been running for 40 years in Aylesbury supported 84 homeless young people in the past 12 months alone.

And Fran says that the ten bedrooms at Chequers would provide a much-needed fresh start for people in need.

She said: "As a charity we always try to be apolitical, homelessness is such an epidemic and as we enter the winter and the cold weather the issue becomes even more pertinent.

"If people are wondering whether Chequers would be too salubrious a place for homeless people, it is worth remembering that that anyone can become homeless. Homelessness is not a status it is a crisis and it can just take one negative life event, such as losing a job or getting cancer, to have a domino effect."

She added: "I think that any politician that takes serious action to provide accomodation for homeless people is to be lauded, but it not just about Chequers, it's about taking this issue seriously and doing what is needed to tackle the horrific homlessness problem this country is facing."

In 1921 the 16th Century estate in Ellesborough was gifted to the nation by the Leys family, to be used as a country retreat for Prime Ministers.

In 2018 the estate was the scene of heated Brexit talks and the Chequers deal, which was agreed by Theresa May's cabinet, but never passed through Parliament was thrashed out.

The same year US President Donald Trump visited Chequers on his first official visit to the UK since winning the presidency. He is not the first head of state to visit either with Richard Nixon, George HW Bush and Vladimir Putin being among a long list to stay there.

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