Portugal’s president has described the circumstances in which a homeless Portuguese man died near the UK parliament as “inhumane”.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa paid tribute to the unnamed man found dead in an underpass near Westminster tube station, a stone’s throw from an entrance to the Houses of Parliament.
In a statement on the official website of the president of the Portuguese republic, Rebelo de Sousa said he “laments the death in inhumane circumstances of our fellow countryman of 35 years, who was found without life in one of the metro entries in the British capital”.
The president “also manifests his solidarity with all people that live in precarious conditions, without a shelter or home, appealing to the effort of all for their inclusion in society”, the message said.
It emerged on Thursday that the man, who was found dead by outreach workers early the previous day, was a former model who enjoyed singing and yoga. He is one of four rough sleepers to have died in London in the first six weeks of 2018.
Coroners in Westminster are compiling a report into the man’s death and more details are expected to be released next week.
The Conservative manifesto for the general election last year promised to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eradicate it by 2027. Homelessness has increased by 169% since 2010 and Office for National Statistics figures showed 4,751 people slept outside overnight in 2017, up 15% on the previous year.
Pam Orchard, the chief executive of the homelessness charity The Connection, which supported the Portuguese man, said: “Even if the government halves the figure by 2023, that will only take us back to levels seen in 2011.