Johnny Mercer pledges to personally investigate any cases of Afghan heroes sleeping rough due to the government’s hotel evictions scheme
- Mr Mercer said he will investigate cases of Afghan heroes left sleeping rough
A minister has pledged to personally investigate any cases of Afghan heroes left sleeping rough due to the Government’s hotel evictions programme.
Johnny Mercer, the veterans’ affairs minister, will act if such people are still homeless at the end of this month.
Thousands of Afghans who worked for the UK before the Taliban takeover – as translators for the British military and in other roles – are currently living in 55 hotels across the UK.
All have been told they must leave by the end of August, with their plight highlighted by the Daily Mail’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign.
Mr Mercer, who served three tours in Afghanistan as an Army officer, said: ‘I will have failed if any Afghans end up rough sleeping. If I do find any, I will drive there myself and find out what on Earth has gone wrong.
Johnny Mercer, the veterans’ affairs minister, will act if such people are still homeless at the end of this month. He is pictured arriving for a cabinet meeting at Downing Street in February
Johnny Mercer has pledged to personally investigate any cases of Afghan heroes left sleeping rough due to the Government’s hotel evictions programme. He is pictured meeting veterans in 10 Downing Street in December last year
‘There is no reason why any Afghan family should be rough sleeping in this country as a result of this policy.’
Mr Mercer revealed hotels for those handed refugee status through the official programmes are costing £1million a day.
He said 440-plus Afghans have been matched with new accommodation in the past week.
But the minister accused opposition parties and local authorities of failing to engage in the re-housing scheme, saying: ‘There are some who want to play politics off the backs of some of the poorest people in the country.
‘I have absolutely nothing but disdain for them.’
Mr Mercer added: ‘This is an unprecedented effort to get Afghans out of hotels to accommodation. We will find homes for all of them.’
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