01 November 2011 12:43 PM

Clarke: Squatters as bad as car thieves

Ken Clarke is seen by some Tory MPs as "soft" on crime but he clearly has little time for squatters.

They are no better than car thieves, the Justice Secretary told MPs debating the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill which will make squatting a criminal offence.

More than 150 demonstrators sought to stage sit-down protests outside Parliament last night to protest against the criminalisation of squatting.

Around a dozen were arrested during clashes with the police in front of the Commons.

Inside, Justice Secretary Mr Clarke shot down claims that squatters have a right to take over empty properties.

“I have always found it difficult to see the difference between taking somebody’s car and taking somebody’s home,” he said.

“There is a need for a criminal offence.”

Nicholas Cecil



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What's wrong with stealing cars?

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