Joe Lycett raises £50k for homelessness charity in response to Suella Braverman comments

Comedian Joe Lycett launched the campaign for Crisis UK after Ms Braverman sparked outrage by suggesting that homelessness could be a "lifestyle choice". Credit: PA Images

Joe Lycett has reached his £50,000 fundraising target for a homelessness charity, after controversial remarks from Home Secretary Suella Braverman about rough sleeping.

The Birmingham comedian, 35, launched the campaign for Crisis UK after Ms Braverman sparked outrage by suggesting that homelessness could be a "lifestyle choice" and announcing plans to prevent charities from providing tents to rough sleepers.

Responding to the comments on Instagram, addressing the Home Secretary as his “old friend”, Lycett said: “I always thought lifestyle choices were things such as cargo pants, fishing, and decorating your bathroom with a bowl of potpourri.”

Alongside an image of potpourri, Lycett announced his initiative to raise £50,000 for the homeless charity Crisis UK, which he surpassed on Tuesday morning.

On Instagram he wrote: “I woke up this morning to see that a picture of a bowl of potpourri I posted just over two days ago has raised £50,000 for Crisis. A huge thank you to everyone who donated for their generosity.

“Of course my main thanks must go to Suella: without your lifestyle choice, of being callous and cruel towards the most vulnerable people in society, none of this would’ve happened.”

As part of his campaign, Lycett told followers on his Instagram story “when you donate make sure to click Gift Aid as it means that Suella’s government then have to give an additional 25% towards it”.

The Financial Times previously reported that Ms Braverman has proposed establishing a civil offence to deter charities from giving tents to homeless people.

Organisations could be fined for doing so if it is deemed to have caused a nuisance under the plans being pitched for inclusion in the King’s Speech, which will set out the UK Government’s legislative agenda on Tuesday.

The potential law would also seek to prevent the obstruction of shop doorways by rough sleepers who are using tents, the FT said.

Sharing a link to the article in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Ms Braverman said: “The British people are compassionate. We will always support those who are genuinely homeless.

“But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.

“Unless we step in now to stop this, British cities will go the way of places in the US like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where weak policies have led to an explosion of crime, drug taking, and squalor.”

Lycett’s campaign comes a month after he wrote a parody letter to Ms Braverman shared on X in the wake of her suggestion that it is unsustainable for the UK to offer asylum to gay people who face discrimination in their home countries.

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