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Big Issue chief's powerful Question Time speech on homelessness ‘human rights abuse’

Big Issue founder John Bird has slammed the Tories handling of homelessness and said rough sleeping is a human right abuse.

Mr Bird took aim at austerity on BBC Question Time last night as he told Conservative minister Nadhim Zahawi that austerity "destroys lives".

The Big Issue founder, who was homeless in his youth, told the audience Britain is facing a rough sleeping crisis created by cuts.

He said: "If you are a rough sleeper for a couple of months it takes years to get it out of you, just a couple of weeks will disenfranchise you in many ways.

"I'm an ex-offender who ended up on the streets hiding from the police, and hiding from my family. But I can honestly told you in those days no one was allowed to sleep rough, because you got nicked."

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