UK

Conservative MP Rob Wilson Calls Constituent Concerned About Homelessness A 'Bad Loser'

10/05/2015 18:59 BST | Updated 11/05/2015 11:59 BST

A recently re-elected Tory MP has dismissed a constituent concerned about homelessness by calling her a "bad loser".

Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East made the remark on the same day it became clear the Conservatives had won a majority in the General Election.

The tweet quickly circulated on social media with people voicing their disgust at the response.

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Austerity has been blamed rising levels of homelessness in the UK.

Jennifer Cirone is a volunteer with A Mile In Her Shoes, and works as a Children and Families Support Advisor at St Mungo"s Broadway, which helps homeless people to rebuild their lives.

She blames one political factor for the rise in rough sleeping: "A very simple answer would be austerity. Austerity really cuts to the heart and will affect all vulnerable people disproportionately."

"I think it's about being fair and considering the impact that reform can actually have at all levels, taking into particular account people who are vulnerable and the impact of policies on them. it's a really important thing that any incoming government needs to think about and address when they are making policies."

The most visible form of homelessness is rough sleeping - this has risen nationally by more than a third (37%) since 2010, according to St Mungo"s Broadway. And even for those not sleeping on the streets, life without permanent accommodation is tough and often means staying in hostels and bed & breakfasts.

According to a study by Homeless Monitor England, the number of homeless placements in temporary accommodation rose by 24% between 2010/11 and 2013/14 - marking a new high over those three years.