THE UK Government’s plans to criminalise homelessness are facing a rebellion from Tory MPs, reports suggest.

The plans were originally announced last year by former home secretary Suella Braverman as part of the Criminal Justice Bill.

They would see police and local authorities in England and Wales given the power to fine those sleeping rough up to £2500, send them to jail or force them to move on. 

But the Tory bid to tackle “nuisance rough sleepers” is facing criticism from all sides of the Conservative Party, with more than 40 Tory MPs warning party whips that they will vote against the measures.

The National: Rishi Sunak

They say that the bill is so broad it could result in the criminalisation of people for merely sleeping in a doorway or having an “excessive smell”.

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It’s feared that even those who just appear as if they are sleeping rough could be penalised by the legislation.

“A lot of colleagues believe that the bill as it stands is completely unacceptable because it would have the effect of criminalising people who have no choice but to sleep on the streets,” said Tory MP Bob Blackman.

“We are urging ministers to think again”.

Calls to amend the legislation have already received the backing of senior Tory figures such as Iain Duncan Smith and former deputy prime minister Damian Green.

The National: Tory MP Damian Green is calling on Rishi Sunak to alter the legislationTory MP Damian Green is calling on Rishi Sunak to alter the legislation

Green lent his support to Blackman’s amendment to the bill, which would remove the new police powers.

The chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, said criminalising those sleeping rough would not solve issues with homelessness in England and Wales.

“Parliament must not enact this legislation,” she said.

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“Instead of punishing people for being homeless, politicians should be trying to prevent them from ending up on the streets.

“Everyone at risk of sleeping rough should have a right to suitable emergency accommodation, and to end homelessness for good it must invest in genuinely affordable social homes — we need 90,000 a year.”

The bill is also set to expand police powers on drug testing suspects following their arrest and would even give probation officers the power to administer lie detector tests to sex offenders and terrorists after their release from prison.