SHP’s Chief Executive Liz Rutherfoord has called on ministers to face up to the role of government policy in creating the "perfect storm" behind the continuing rise in homelessness.

Liz spoke out after the Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire, claimed the growing problem was not a political failure and was attributable to other factors. His comments prompted widespread outcry from homelessness charities and campaigners.

In a letter published by the Guardian, Liz said Mr Brokenshire’s remarks "bear the hallmarks of a government in denial."

She added: "Instead of seeking to attribute the crisis to the spread of psychoactive drugs and LGBT young people being thrown out of home, he should refer to the government’s own data, which shows that since 2014 the loss of a private tenancy has been the biggest cause of homelessness in England. According to research by Generation Rent, 94% of this rise can be blamed on no-fault evictions, which have more than doubled since 2009.

"The truth is that the precariousness of private sector tenancies, combined with a chronic shortage of social housing, punitive welfare reforms and successive years of cuts to homelessness prevention services, have created a perfect storm. Ever greater numbers of vulnerable people are being forced into temporary accommodation or worse, or are having to take their chances on the streets.

"This may be unpalatable for ministers, but without a grasp of the causes of the crisis, they are unlikely to be able to remedy it."

In the wake of the outcry, the Housing Secretary appeared to reconsider his stance, telling Politico: "We do have to look and reflect on ourselves as to the increase.

"Yes there are other factors that are relevant here, but we have to look at the policy.”

Mr Brokenshire added that the government had to "ask ourselves some very hard questions … for example in relation to the introduction of changes to welfare".