JACOB Rees Mogg has blasted the city council after it emerged more than a hundred homeless people were housed in hotels 20 miles away.

Speaking in Parliament, the MP for Eastbourne Caroline Ansell revealed Brighton and Hove City Council had moved more than 130 homeless people into her town’s hotels – without telling Eastbourne Borough Council.

She questioned how the people could be getting the help they need while being “at arm’s length” from Brighton and Hove and unknown to Eastbourne’s authorities.

Replying, Leader of the House of Commons Mr Rees-Mogg claimed it was an example of “what goes wrong when the hard-left are in charge”.

Throughout the pandemic, anyone sleeping rough in the city – regardless of whether they have a local connection – are being offered emergency accommodation.

However, the council told The Argus in September that buildings housing the homeless in Brighton and Hove have become full “several times”.

Ms Ansell MP told the Commons on Thursday: “Last month, it came to light that a neighbouring council, Brighton and Hove, had, without any consultation with Eastbourne Borough Council, quietly moved over 130 homeless people into Eastbourne hotels.

“Those who it had moved along the coast in this way could not possibly be cared for at arm’s length by Brighton and Hove, nor could they be properly cared for in Eastbourne, unprepared and unaware as we were.”

“Could we debate the framework that sits behind the way in which local councils operate together to consider whether aspects that are currently considered good practice might need to be raised to the level of a duty to make sure that a sorry situation such as this does not repeat itself?”

Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “This is an example, is it not, of what goes wrong when the hard left are in charge?

“The homelessness legislation guidance sets out that in the first instance local authorities should try to place homeless households within their own area, and when this is not possible they should place them as near as possible to the original local authority area.

“We are clear that local authorities should, as far as possible, avoid placing households outside their borough. We are aware that, on occasion, in some areas where there is a limited supply of suitable accommodation, it is necessary to place households in temporary accommodation outside the local area, but this should be a last resort.

“If a local authority places a household in accommodation in another local authority area, it is required to notify that local authority of any placement.”

Green chairman of the housing committee on Brighton and Hove City Council David Gibson said: “Responding to the pandemic and the government’s policy of “everyone in” for homeless people, the city council have placed over 600 households in emergency accommodation to save them from the streets. Like several other councils some households have been found accommodation out of area. This has always happened, but under the extreme pressure of responding to the pandemic more households have ended up in Eastbourne than usual. Our challenge now is to strain every sinew to make sure we can achieve sustainable long term housing for these people.”