Protesters occupy building to highlight law that would criminalise squatting

ONE of 50 protesters occupying a mansion block near the Houses of Parliament yesterday to demonstrate against a proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, which would criminalise squatting, writes Ian MacKinnon.

The group, which moved into a block that has been empty for 18 years, also wanted to highlight the 'obscenity' of leaving property vacant while about 1,200 are homeless in Westminster. A clause in the Bill before Parliament would make it an offence to be in a building subject to an interim possession order, or to return within a year, punishable by six months' imprisonment and/or a pounds 5,000 fine.

(Photograph omitted)