Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has backed the no-nonsense approach that has been taken by magistrates in London, as England’s first squatter is jailed under the new legislation which criminalised squatting on 1st September.
Mike, who was instrumental in the introduction of the squatting law, supports the action that has been taken by English Courts, which have utilised new powers that are now available to them by convicting and sentencing Alex Haigh, a 21-year-old squatter, to 12 weeks in jail. Mr Haigh is the first person in England and Wales to have been jailed under the new legislation.
Mike has been campaigning for squatting to be criminalised since his election to Parliament in 2010 and has been supported by the Prime Minister, as well as his colleague the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Secretary of State for Justice. Squatting is a huge problem in Brighton & Hove, with numerous instances of this organised and frequently menacing behaviour blighting the lives of ordinary people. Irate squatters have dubbed the new law “Weatherley’s Law” following Mike’s campaign to introduce the new legislation.
Commenting, Mike said: “After years campaigning to change the law for squatting in residential premises, it is encouraging to see that new law has been enforced and that a squatter is now behind bars. Hopefully squatters around the country will now take note, grow up and move out before they face some time at Her Majesty’s pleasure. I am now focusing on a campaign to extend the law to cover commercial properties as well.”