Call to clear rough sleepers 'not referring to genuine homeless'

A Tory council leader who called on police to clear rough sleepers from Windsor before the royal wedding has claimed he was not referring to genuine homeless people.

Windsor and Maidenhead council leader Simon Dudley also said he regretted bringing up the marriage of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle - writes itv.com.

In a series of tweets last week, Simon Dudley said beggars could present the town in a "sadly unfavourable light" during the wedding.

But six days after he originally referred to an epidemic of rough sleeping, Mr Dudley said he wanted to draw a distinction between the "abomination" of homelessness, and "commercial" begging.

Conservative councillor Simon Dudley

I would like to apologise if I was not clear enough in my communication that this was an issue about anti-social behaviour, and if that message failed to get across the responsibility for that is firmly with me.

And look, I'm steadfast that the council will continue to provide comprehensive support for vulnerable residents or anyone who's visiting us.

– SIMON DUDLEY, WINDSOR AND MAIDENHEAD COUNCIL LEADER, SPEAKING TO BBC RADIO BERKSHIRE

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