'The suspended minister Mark Field has referred to a homelessness charity in his constituency as a “magnet for undesirables” in a leaked email, the Guardian can reveal.
Field was suspended as a Foreign Office minister in June after the release of a video that showed him pushing a female Greenpeace activist against a pillar and grabbing her neck while she protested at the chancellor’s Mansion House speech.
He faces fresh criticism after revelations that he described The Passage, a local charity in Westminster, central London, that helps vulnerable and homeless people, as a “magnet for these undesirables to flood into Victoria”.
Field said: “It is high time that The Passage … started to take a little more responsibility for its ‘clients’.”
The MP, who lives in Westminster, made the remark in response to an email from a neighbour who complained about the level of antisocial behaviour linked to homeless people in the area.
The resident said: “The soup kitchens which act like a magnet for not just vagrants but also drug dealers with consequences that have been sufficiently highlighted by my neighbours in words and images … Day in and day out, night in and night out we see the same faces sleeping rough, same voices shouting and swearing, same sleeping bags in the same places.”
She continued: “We have seen mothers grasping their children on their way to school while loud and inappropriate discussion takes place among homeless in the street … Many of these problems are caused by people with mental health, alcohol and drug abuse issues who should not be there. Many of them are not British.”
The email concluded: “Ultimately this is a police responsibility. The police numbers have, however, been substantially reduced.”
He replied to the email, copying in Westminster council figures and Michael Gove, the environment secretary. Field said: “I would totally endorse every word [of the email]”, before going on to criticise the local charity for their handling of the situation.'
Read more: Mark Field calls homelessness charity 'a magnet for undesirables'
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