- Created: Thursday, 07 February 2019 11:58
- Written by Cat Allison
In the run-up to Christmas, the issue of homelessness in Britain briefly made headlines after a man sleeping rough in London collapsed and died in a stairwell in Westminster. Gyula Remes, who was 44, was the second homeless man to die within a stone’s throw of the Houses of Parliament in the last year. At the same time, the Office of National Statistics published figures showing that nearly 600 rough sleepers died last year – at an average age of 42 for men and 44 for women – and that the figure has risen 24% in the last five years. Rough sleeping has soared 169% since 2010, with 4,750 people now estimated to be sleeping on the streets on any one night. Yet Communities Secretary James Brokenshire was quick to deny any link to government policies, preferring to blame those favourite Tory scapegoats - drugs, migration and family breakdown.