Homelessness minister accused of racist remarks about rough sleepers

Exclusive: Heather Wheeler urged to quit after she referred to ‘old tinkers, knife-cutters’

The homelessness minister, Heather Wheeler, has apologised after leaked emails showed her using “racist” language to describe rough sleepers before she joined the government.

In an email sent in October 2017 to a homeless charity three months before she became minister, the Conservative MP for South Derbyshire described rough sleepers in her constituency as “the traditional type, old tinkers, knife-cutters wandering through”.

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