Paul who is homeless shelters beneath an underpass with his dog Millie

Emanuel Madaran is one of the 306 people sleeping rough in Westminster, lying on his rucksack in a blue sleeping bag next to the underground entrance to the House of Commons .

Above him, a bank advert promises a sunny future. Opposite him, on the subway wall, is graffiti commemorating one of the last inhabitants of his patch of cold industrial tiling.

“I see them coming and going,” the Romanian builder, 38, said, as I joined him on the floor and shared his view of the smart shoes and briefcases.

“Some are good people, some are bad.”

Some MPs averted their gaze, or were lost in their mobile phones. Dan Carden, Shadow Minister for International Development, stops to chat, asking if Emanuel’s been moved on recently.

He shakes his head.

“I don’t give trouble,” Emanuel says. “And they don’t give trouble to me.”

The underpass is near Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament (Image: Philip Coburn)
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Emanuel says his bag is “mostly full of clothes” he washes at a local homeless project.

He always sleeps alone he tells me.

“I don’t like to be with people. It’s better alone. Safer.”

He is originally from Romania but has been in the UK six years working in the construction industry. At the moment he has no job, and no access to benefits.

He’s recently been in Kings Lynn with a girlfriend, but the relationship broke down.

Like other homeless people from EU countries, he now faces deportation after Brexit .

While for some Brexiteers this is a desired outcome, charities say it could drive a new underground community into existence, hidden in the very fringes of the UK and impoverished beyond anything we see now.

Emanuel thinks Brexit is a bad idea, not for himself, but for England.

“If you close off borders, you close off hope,” he says. “And we all need hope.”

Homelessness is rife in Westminster (Image: Daily Record)
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I ask him what hope he keeps alive, and from a little pouch zipped under all his layers of clothes, he pulls out three dog-eared photographs of a smiling woman.

He won’t tell me who she is, but he is smiling widely when he tucks her back in next to his heart.

another heartless witch to blame

Westminster – the one place that could end Britain’s housing crisis – is officially the homeless capital of the United Kingdom.

Rough sleeping here jumped by 41 per cent according to new figures last week – despite two recent high-profile deaths in the area.

Some feel the borough’s solution has been to try to wash them away. Recently, the council were branded ‘truly cruel’ over new clear walkway signs that appear to try to move homeless people on.

The local authority has insisted the signs are not aimed at “anyone specifically”.

The Mirror is campaigning to end homelessness (Image: Philip Coburn)
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