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The desperate brother of a Tory MP who has been living on the streets for 10 years has begged the politician to help him end his nightmare.
And former HGV driver Darren Offord blasted the Coalition’s shocking record on homelessness, which has risen by a quarter in the last four years.
Huddled in a tiny council bin shed where he has been sleeping, the 43-year-old made a direct appeal to brother Matthew – MP for Hendon, North London, and a former BBC political analyst.
Darren, who claimed he ended up on the streets and addicted to drugs after an accident cost him his job and his he alth, said: “Matthew get your flipping a*** here and put your arm out and lift me up… lift me up.
"Give me a hand up and help me get off the streets.”
Dad-of-two Darren told how he gets help from his sister who lives nearby, but spends his time begging for a few pounds a day and survives on food handed out by strangers.
His family also insist they have tried to help him.
Daily Mirror / Phil HarrisHelp me: Darren Offord
But he laid into we althy Matthew’s colleagues in the Tory-led Government for their failure to tackle the homeless crisis.
Darren, who claimed he is getting booted out of the shed this week, said: “What are they doing? Where is the help for homeless people like me? I’ve been sleeping here for about six months.
“I’ve had 10 years trying to get help, 10 years trying to get back to somewhere and it’s been an absolute nightmare.
"I’ve got till Friday to get out of here, I’m being evicted by the council, it’s unbelievable. I can’t see any support or help, none at all.
“The Government are doing nothing are they?
“If they were there would be ladders up to get out of these situations that we find ourselves in, but they’re not doing nothing.
FacebookTop MP: Matthew Offord MP with George Osborne
“Getting off the streets is a nightmare, getting on the streets is quite easy. If my brother could see the state I’m in.
"I know he’s got his problems but you know, apart from being the MP for Hendon, I’d put my hand out to him, of course, I would.
“My brother is worth thousands. I think he gets thousands of pounds a year just for being the MP.” When asked if he had contacted Matthew, Darren replied, sobbing: “I’ve tried, I’ve tried.”
There are thought to be around 500,000 homeless, a figure that should shame modern Britain.
But experts suggest the true number is much higher.
Latest statistics show 111,960 people told their council they were on the streets in 2013, a 26% rise over the past four years.
On top of this there is another estimated 380,000 “hidden homeless” – people in hostels, squats and sofa surfing with friends and relatives.
Darren’s life on the streets is in stark contrast to that of his brother.
Matthew, 45, divides his time between his family home, a thatched £785,000 five-bed cottage in Boxford, Berks, and his constituency home in the capital.
He married wife Claire at a lavish 2010 wedding in nearby Newbury, later entertaining guests such as disgraced Tory peer Lord Hanningfield at a reception at Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey.
FacebookFriends at the top: Matthew Offord MP with Boris Johnson
The happy couple received a letter from David Cameron and his wife Samantha congratulating them on their marriage.
It read: “Strong and stable families are the bedrock of a strong and stable society, we see Matthew publicly demonstrating his commitment to our plan by marrying Claire today.”
Darren had a stable home life with his partner of eight years, before he began living rough. His grown-up children are from two different relationships.
But now his life is so desperate he is reduced to drinking cans of super strength cider to help numb his body from the cold and blot out the pain of what he has left behind.
Darren claims that after his accident he had an emergency blood transfusion and contracted HIV and the debilitating Hepatitis C.
He added: “I lost my life insurance, I lost my mortgage, my partner couldn’t cope and it went downhill from there.
"I lost my BMW, I lost my Land Cruiser, I lost my property in Spain, and basically it all went to s***. And that’s why I’m here on the street.”
Darren grew up in Alton, Hants. He is still in the town and his sister, a civilian worker with Surrey Police, has a home nearby.
Fighting back tears, he said: “My sister lives 100 yards up the road. I love my sister, she helps me out.
Daily Mirror / Phil HarrisDavid”s home: A council bin store
“I’ve got two children and they’re both fine. They know I’m here.
“They would both be upset to see me here like I am.”
Darren told how he started using heroin but kicked the drug around 15 months ago.
He added: “I’m just on methadone. I pick it up every day from the chemists and that keeps me off it.”
Darren suggested a row over politics led to the relationship breakdown with his brother. He said: “[We last spoke] a long time ago, he knows where I am.
“Last time I was on Facebook I got blocked because I wrote some things about what I thought about the Government. I said what I thought of them. It’s a load of b******s, it’s a load of s*** isn’t it.
“The Labour Party [is where] everyone looks after each other.”
When asked if he had a final message for his brother, Darren replied: “My message to my brother would be to make sure he’s all right, to make sure he’s safe because it could happen to anybody, it could happen to anybody.”
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A source close to the family said last night: “Matthew and the rest of the family have tried to help Darren throughout the years. It’s a shame he can’t help himself.”
Last night, there was no response from Matthew after the Mirror left a message at his Commons office.
Just last month, the MP showed his willingness to help “hard pressed families” in a question he posed to Communities and Local Government Minister Eric Pickles.
He boasted of freezing council tax for his constituents for the last four years.
On his website Matthew talks of his links with community organisations which educate young people about homelessness and drug abuse.
At a meeting of the Nutmeg Community Project, a local charity in his constituency, he spoke of Mr Cameron’s “Big Society”.
He declared: “I would prefer society to instil a sense of aspiration, aspiration, aspiration into young people that will accompany them into adult life.
"Nutmeg is achieving that through a project that I believe is the Big Society in action.”
Matthew studied at Nottingham Trent University where he became involved in the Tory Party. He gained a masters degree from Lancaster University and a PhD at King’s College London in 2011.