Following a Windsor council leader calling for the removal of rough sleepers from the streets, Russell Brand has decided to offer housing for the homeless as a wedding gift to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Brand has urged the Slough Borough Council to by a building which will then be given to a local homeless charity – Slough Homeless Our Concern. The charity helps people who are homeless by providing help for employment and meals via the provision of housing.
Russell Brand, who is known for his stand up comedy and activism, posted a video on Twitter. In the video, he said, “That councillor guy said ‘We’ve got to cleanse all the homeless people off the streets of Windsor; in some terrifying sort of eugenics, genocide, burn the books, burn the people-type language.”
Commenting on the royal wedding itself, Russell Brand said that “of course it’s not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s fault.” However, he added that it was an “interesting indication that in order to make this wedding spick and span and spotless, the most vulnerable people in society are being exposed to yet more persecution.”
A petition started by Russell Brand managed to reach over 40,000 signatures in two days.
In his petition, Brand noted that it would cost the council “nothing but the ink in the pen to commit to a ‘change of use’ for this building.” He added: “You know how easy it is to do that – councils have to do it every time they turn a local shop into a supermarket chain express store.”
He noted that giving the homeless accommodation was the “perfect wedding present for a cool couple.”
Simon Dudley, of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, called for police to tackle “aggressive begging” before the Royal Wedding takes place. He said begging creates a “hostile atmosphere” for residents and tourists.
Many people criticised his comments, including Prime Minister Theresa May. However, Simon Dudley defended his comments saying he never called for the homeless to be moved and was instead talking about anti-social behaviour.