Homelessness protester ends hunger strike after MSPs agree to talks

Alasdair tucks into the first bit of food he's had in 24 days. Picture: Alasdair Codona Hunger Strike for Homeless Rights Facebook
Alasdair tucks into the first bit of food he's had in 24 days. Picture: Alasdair Codona Hunger Strike for Homeless Rights Facebook
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A SCOTS musician has ended his 24 day hunger strike after MSPs agreed to talk about changing Scotland’s homeless laws.

Alasdair Codona had been starving himself outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to protest at the treatment of homeless people by local authorities.

The 51-year-old had been taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on the 30th of December after people became worried for his health as the effects of his refusal to eat began to take hold, however he continued to decline offers of food until MSPs agreed to introduce a “statutory right” for people to declare themselves homeless.

Codona, who taught Gaelic music in schools on Uist and Barra, only brought the protest to an end after a visit from MSPs to his hospital bed saw housing minister Kevin Stewart agree to his demands for talks on the matter.

Codona, who became homeless at the end of 2012 after struggling to find work, says he received “appalling treatment” from Glasgow City Council and that discriminatory behaviour from local authorities meant that people without homes weren’t being given a fair chance.

Following his victory, Alasdair took to social media to declare: “Two government ministers have just come and I have received certain assurances, as a result of which I am ending my hunger strike.”

Alasdair’s first meal to break the strike was a bowl of peas, which he enjoyed before telling the Daily Record that the campaign had been “worth it”, adding that the “people who are powerless have been heard and understood by the people with power”.