Behind the scenes

Inside the Big Issue: Starmer, Sunak, Davey and Swinney take our vendors' questions

Inside the Big Issue

Throughout this election period we have challenged party leaders to get to grips with the most insidious issue corroding Britain today – poverty.

In our Big Issue Blueprint for Change we set out key policies we believe will help lift millions out of the deep poverty trap they are in and help build to a better future. In recent weeks more than 12,000 Big Issue readers and backers have signed a petition to demand an end to poverty following the 4 July vote.

This week our ambassadors Daniel Mays, Christopher Eccleston and George Clarke joined the push. We have taken this call to the two men who are fighting to be the next prime minster, Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer, and to John Swinney and Sir Ed Davey, the two other leaders likely to see their parties command the next largest collection of seats in Westminster.

We also, among others, brought them questions posed by our Big Issue vendor colleagues. This, then, is the state we will be in. Read what they had to say in this week’s Big Issue.

Seven years after Grenfell no prosecutions have been brought. Residents fear they’ll die before seeing justice

“I went through the largest national tragedy in this country since the Second World War. I watched 72 people perish in front of me,” says David O’Connell, who lives in a flat in Lancaster West estate, home to Grenfell Tower.

“I have to carry on living in the area. It’s traumatic for me and my partner. On top of that, I have to pay for something that’s more expensive and doesn’t necessarily work better than what we had before. I want to be trying to get my life back together.” Seven years after the fi re, residents speak of promises of change and justice unfulfilled.

How Change Please is changing lives

It’s been almost a decade since Change Please coffee began their mission to use coffee to offer people a path out of homelessness. The idea is simple – and effective. Train people experiencing homelessness to become baristas and support them with everything they need to turn their lives around – a living wage job, access to housing and vital services, therapy, a bank account, onward employment.

Since launching in 2015, Change Please coffee has supported thousands of people experiencing homelessness. This number is set to increase, thanks to a new £1 million partnership with Nespresso.

Zoë Wanamaker: We can’t put up walls

Zoë Wanamaker is exasperated with politics. “Where do we get these people? Where do we get these politicians?”

Our senior reporter Isabella McRae had asked the star of theatre, television and film for thoughts on the general election. But true to her US roots, she also has Donald Trump on her mind – and much more.

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
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