LONDON (CBSNewYork/CBSNews) – The royal wedding between Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle is going to be a mega money-maker for Britain.
However, a scandal has now erupted in the town that’s hosting the event. A local politician is called for a crackdown on homeless people and beggars.
As CBS News’ Gavin Ramjuan reported, a storm is brewing in the town of Windsor, where in just five months the couple will be wed.
The uproar began when a local politician wrote to police, calling for a plan to deal with aggressive beggars and the homeless. In his letter, Simon Dudley claims the town could be seen in an “unfavorable light” in the build-up to the wedding. He also questions whether those living on the streets really have no other options.
“It’s just not out of choice. Some of us — all homeless people have got their own stories,” said one 35-year-old man, who said he lost his place to live and how nowhere else to go. “You just cope through it, being out at night.”
Homeless charities are outraged and say vulnerable people are being unfairly targeted, because of the worldwide interest in the royals.
“This isn’t a situation that should hit the headlines, because of the royal wedding. This is a situation that should have hit the headlines, because there’s people sleeping in bus shelters,” said Murphy James.
The controversy has stretched to London, where Prime Minister Theresa May has been drawn into the debate.
“I think it is important that councils work hard to ensure that they are providing accommodation for those people who are homeless. And where there are issues of people that are aggressively begging on the streets, then it’s important that councils work with police to deal with that aggressive bullying,” May said.
The royal wedding is expected to boost the U.K.’s economy by over half billion dollars, drawing thousands of extra visitors to Windsor Castle and the surrounding area.
Prince Harry has supported a number of homeless charities in the past. He has yet to comment on the current issue.