Mike has tabled a series of Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State for Justice on the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act which criminalises squatting.
Mike has been campaigning for squatting to be criminalised since his election to Parliament in 2010 and has been supported by his colleague the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Secretary of State for Justice. Squatting is a huge problem in Brighton & Hove, with numerous instances of this organised and frequently menacing behaviour blighting the lives of ordinary people.
A change in the law is expected soon which will see squatting in residential properties made a criminal offence. The new legislation has been dubbed “Weatherley’s Law” by both supporters and squatters. The Prime Minister recently commented how the law was long overdue and that he supports Mike’s campaign.
Commenting, Mike said: “The Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Bill received Royal Assent at the beginning of May, which means it is now an Act of Parliament. However, the part that concerns squatting won’t come into force until Autumn. I have tabled a number of Parliamentary Questions to the Justice Minister to gain more information on how the law will be implemented and to see what the Ministry of Justice has done to prepare police forces around the country. I have also asked what plans the Minister has to extend the squatting provisions within the new Act to all commercial premises.”