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Evicted rough sleepers leave central London squat

Occupants took their belongings into the street as they left during the month’s second cold snap.

Rough sleepers have been evicted from a central London squat as a second cold snap hit the capital.

Around 150 people had occupied Sofia House in Great Portland Street from the start of March, when the “Beast from the East” sent temperatures plummeting throughout the country.

On Monday, squatters grabbed sleeping bags, backpacks and other belongings as they left the premises after the owner won a court order to force them out.

Three floors of the disused building had been occupied after it was taken over by homeless group Streets Kitchen.

Inside, floors were covered with sleeping bags and mattresses, with basic facilities including a makeshift kitchen.

Streets Kitchen volunteer Karen said: “What’s been made here has been very successful. It’s not just a bunch of squatters who decided to take over a building.

“What we created here was a community where nobody was above anybody, but we were all alongside each other and people started taking care of the place because they need it.”

There were no police or bailiffs present as occupants filtered out of the building at around noon.

One volunteer said they had a new squat to go to.

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