Royal wedding: Brand wants homeless housed as council gift

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Brand's wish is for the council to give a building to a homeless charity

Russell Brand has called on a council to donate a building to house the homeless people of Windsor as a wedding gift to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

A petition launched by the comedian has gained more than 70,000 signatures.

It comes after Windsor and Maidenhead Council leader Simon Dudley called on police to tackle "aggressive begging" in the town.

Brand wants neighbouring Slough Borough Council to give a building to charity Shoc (Slough Homeless Our Concern).

Media caption,
"Medieval": Find out what Windsor makes of the royal wedding row

Shoc's current lease ceases in April.

Shoc chief executive Steve Headley said if "people forced to sleep rough in Windsor are forcibly removed" the charity would be the "obvious service that would assist them".

He added: "If Shoc closes due to a lack of a building, this would not only overwhelm the other projects, but lives will be at risk."

In a video, Brand criticised Mr Dudley's comments, saying they were "some terrifying sort of eugenics, genocide, burn the books, burn the people-type language".

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry at St George's Chapel in Windsor on 19 May

Brand added, "of course it's not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's fault", but "it is an interesting indication that in order to make this wedding spick and span and spotless, the most vulnerable people in society are being exposed to yet more persecution".

A Slough Borough Council spokeswoman said the authority was in contact and discussion with the homeless charity.

Mr Dudley defended his comments about begging and said he was referring to anti-social behaviour, not homelessness.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry at St George's Chapel in Windsor on 19 May.

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