Oxford City Councillor John Tanner has published a Press Release apology for his “disgrace” comment on rough sleepers:
“I unreservedly apologise for the remarks I made on local radio about beggars in Oxford. It is a disgrace that we have beggars on the streets of Oxford but I do not blame the beggars for this situation.”
“My comments were very ill-advised and do not reflect what I really think. Beggars often have mental health, drug or drink problems and deserve our support. I am sorry for the offence I have caused by my remarks.
“Oxford City Council plays a leading role in helping the street homeless off the streets. I recognise that only some beggars are also street homeless. I encourage everyone not to give money directly to beggars but to support charities like OXPAT (Oxford Poverty Action Trust).
“With Government cuts in benefits and bans on receiving public funds more and more people are being left destitute in Oxford. It is a disgrace that in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe some of our citizens end up begging on the streets.”