Boxing star Tyson Fury has pledged to buy houses for homeless people as part of his drive to become MP for Morecambe.
Fury vowed to personally put roofs over the heads of people living rough on the streets using money from his upcoming world heavyweight title fight – which could net him £2.4m.
And the would-be politician also said that if Lancaster City Council gives him land, he will pay to build homes for the homeless himself.
David Morris, current Morecambe and Lunesdale MP, welcomed Fury’s plan but said homelessness wasn’t a big problem in the town.
Mr Morris also challenged Tyson to campaign for an elected town mayor with powers to control housing and homelessness.
Tyson, who will box the world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany on November 28, revealed his bid to become MP in last week’s Visitor.
The heavyweight fighter from Hest Bank said: “I want to buy homes for homeless people out of my own pocket.
“If there aren’t any places available, if the council allocate me the land I will start building homes. I can’t say fairer than that, can I?
“I’m not blowing hot air. I very rarely say something and don’t come through with it. I’ve got a lot of money coming in off the Klitschko fight.
“At the end of the day, I’m not about amassing loads of money and storing it in a bank. As long as I can pay my bills, I’m willing to do whatever needs doing for the community.”
Fury, 27, also wants to film a documentary of himself living on the streets to raise awareness.
The 6ft 9in boxer was moved to fight for homeless people after he met a man sleeping rough while out on his daily jogs on Morecambe Promenade.
Mr Morris said: “I am pleased that Tyson wants to get involved in the local area.
“I have read some of the comments that Tyson has made about Morecambe and I don’t see the negative Morecambe he refers to.
“He talks of lots of people taking drugs and being homeless and being unemployed which is not the case, when he is only seeing a tiny part of the constituency when running.
“I challenge Tyson to join me in a campaign for an elected Mayor for Morecambe. An elected mayor would have overall control of all council related funding and be able to control housing, homelessness, quality of the streets and public areas and public services such as health and transport in the area. So Tyson are you up for it?”
Tracy Kohl, from charity West End Impact, said: “We don’t have that many homeless on the streets around here. But there are others who sleep on other people’s floors and sofas, and those who are under threat of eviction.
“We’ve been working on a project for a ‘halfway house’ for years. It wouldn’t be permanent supported housing, but something to help people get back into their own accommodation. We’d get a team to do it up to the right standard and decide who would stay in it. We wanted to do it in one of Lancaster City Council’s empty properties but they pulled out. We’ve invited Tyson to come and talk to us, and he said he will after his next fight.”
Josh Brandwood, a Morecambe town councillor for Labour, said: “As a lover of Morecambe I have great admiration for anyone who wants to move the town forward. Tyson has the ability to bring great publicity and attention to the area, which has the potential to help local tourism.”