I congratulate Tim Farron on securing the urgent question.
We heard from colleagues about the urgency of the situation in England which I can see, as an observer in these proceedings, clearly needs urgent action. I urge the Minister to reflect on that.
As a result of SNP Government action, in Scotland there is a ban on eviction until March 2021. The Scottish Government have also brought forward a new £10 million tenant hardship loan fund, as well as a further £3 million in additional funding for discretionary housing payments. I therefore urge the Minister, once again, to look north to Scotland to see what protecting tenants looks like.
I also want to raise some issues with the Minister about support for asylum seekers on accommodation. Will he agree that no one refused asylum or those with insecure status should be made street homeless, given the public health emergency? Will he further commit that the Government will not follow through on their decision to subject vulnerable asylum seekers to evictions and street homelessness without the explicit consent of the affected local authority and public health director?
The Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday is a sage reminder of the precarious situation we find ourselves in as we head into a second wave. The last thing that people need is for the Government to pull the rug from under their feet. I very much urge the Minister to act now to protect people when they need our help most.