Homeless man dies yards from Houses of Parliament after spending night in underpass

'It is truly awful that someone has passed away homeless...under the noses of those ministers who have failed to act,' says Labour MP Neil Coyle

May Bulman
Social Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday 14 February 2018 14:11 GMT
(Jack Taylor / Getty Images)

A homeless man has died yards from the Houses of Parliament after spending a freezing night in an underpass.

Police and paramedics were called to Westminster Tube station shortly after 7am on Wednesday after the man was found unresponsive. His identity has not yet been confirmed and police said his death was being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.

The incident has prompted renewed claims that ministers, who pass by the area on a daily basis, have "failed to act" on the crisis of rough sleeping in the UK, which has soared in recent years.

Neil Coyle, Labour MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, told The Independent: "For eight years homelessness has risen whilst ministers passed the buck and twiddled their thumbs.

"It is truly awful that someone has passed away homeless on Parliament's doorstep right under the noses of those ministers who have failed to act. We should all be ashamed that Westminster - a world heritage site - is also a place homeless people are forced to try to stay warm.

"The Government must act now to end this shame on our whole country."

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed the man's death, saying: “Police were called by the London Ambulance Service at 7.17am on Wednesday, 14 February to reports of an unresponsive male in the underpass of Exit 3 of Westminster Underground Station.

“Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended. The man (no further details) was pronounced dead at the scene at 7.33am.

“At this early stage in the investigation, the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.

"A crime scene is in place and the exit remains closed. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at 7.16am today to Westminster tube station, to reports of a man not breathing.

“We sent a team leader, an advanced paramedic, a cycle responder and two ambulance crews.

"Sadly, despite resuscitation efforts, he died at the scene.”

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