The law making squatting in residential property a criminal offence came into effect on 1st September 2012, resulting from an EDM in March of the same year sponsored by Hove MP Mike Weatherly; it was supported by Grant Shapps, and rather disappointedly, Kenneth Clarke, amongst others.
Extract from comment in the Guardian…
“From Saturday, a massively unjust, unnecessary and unaffordable new law will come into force in England and Wales. In the middle of one of the worst housing crises this country has ever seen, up to 50,000 squatters who are currently squatting in empty properties across the UK face becoming criminals, and this because they are occupying abandoned residential properties to put a roof over their heads.” (Guardian, 31st August 2012)
My long, and meandering road back to Labour, a party I have supported since my teenage years is almost complete, I just need to seal the event with 4 crosses on May 7th next year. Many a slip twixt, etc. but I should get there.
I left Labour as a result of the vote, on 18th March 2003, rubber-stamping Blair’s vanity project, the senseless invasion of ‘Narnia’ (apparently its bad form to mention <*redacted*> , the name of the target country. It marks one out as a closet Green and deeply suspect; so one of my first lessons on the long road back was ‘don’t mention the war’).