Activist Sean Clerkin to lead hunger strike outside Scottish Parliament

Sean Clerkin at a protest in George Square, Glasgow, in 2016
Sean Clerkin at a protest in George Square, Glasgow, in 2016
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Campaigners led by independence activist Sean Clerkin will go on hunger strike outside the Scottish Parliament on Monday to protest on homelessness spending.

The group, co-ordinated by the Scottish Tenants Association, is calling on the Scottish Government to accelerate planned spending.

A total of £50 million is set aside to tackle homelessness over the next five years as announced by Nicola Sturgeon in November.

However, campaigners have argued these funds should be front-loaded, with £40m spent in the next year.

Mr Clerkin, who will take part in the protest, said: “The money needs to be front-loaded to make a real dent in the problem. This means money for housing, but also for other support like addiction services.”

A group of seven campaigners will go on strike from 10am outside Parliament.

“We’re going to go as long as we can to make our point,” Mr Clerkin said. “Given the weather and circumstances, we expect that to be between three and five days.”

A diet of water and tea without milk or sugar will be stuck to by the protesters. “We’re trying to make a major point,” Mr Clerkin said.

Sean Clerkin is known as one of the best street campaigners in the country and is notorious for staging a variety of small-scale demonstrations.

He made headlines in 2011 after forcing then Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray to seek refuge in a Glasgow sandwich shop while out canvassing.