Political mudslinging surrounding the use of spikes to deter the homeless has taken another turn after a Conservative MP reproached Labour-controlled Liverpool for having benches with arm rests.
Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid Bedfordshire, tweeted: “Labour run Liverpool has arm rests across all public benches so that the homeless can't lie down.”
She later followed up with: “I don't get any council which 'thinks' like that. 'How do we make it really difficult for those in dire straights and in need of help?”
A spokesman for Liverpool City Council told The Independent: “Is it completely untrue. We do know where this has come from.
“It is not the case that our public benches have arm rests to prevent the homeless from lying down. We have outreach workers for homeless people and good provisions for them. We are at a loss to understand why somebody would say that.
“Our benches some have arm rests at the end but that’s not to prevent people from lying on them.”
Dorries’ claim come days after it was revealed that metal spikes have been installed within an external alcove of a block of flats in London, it is thought so that they would deter homeless people from sleeping there.
Andrew Horton, 33, from Surrey, had tweeted a picture of the studs, seen outside privately owned flats on Southwark Bridge Road.
Southwark Council distanced itself from the spikes saying it had not installed them, while Boris Johnson said today that the “spikes outside Southwark housing development to deter rough sleeping are ugly, self defeating & stupid. Developer should remove them ASAP.”
We've spent £34m on the likes of 'no 2nd night out, reaching 3/4s of rough sleepers, but must do more. Spikes are simply not the answer.; Boris Johnson (@MayorofLondon) June 9, 2014
Responses to Dorries' claim included: "Whereas in Mid Bedfordshire all park benches have mattresses, pillows and duvets?" and "Arm rests and studs are not the main story, which is the increase in homelessness, hunger etc under current government."