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 By Chris Wright

Man United legends Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs allow hotel squatters to stay

Gary Neville spoke to the group and said he had no problem with them staying at the hotel over winter

Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville say they are "relaxed" about letting homeless activists stay in their hotel development as the cold winter weather begins to bite.

The pair are currently adding to their burgeoning property portfolio by renovating the old Manchester stock exchange building into a "boutique hotel," but the premises have recently become occupied by a group of protesters.

The Manchester Angels housing activist group moved in on Sunday and plan to turn the currently uninhabited building into a "one-stop shop" for local homeless people by providing them with a roof over their heads, hot food, health checkups, advice, workshops and clean clothes.

However, rather than evicting them, Neville has granted the Angels permission to stay in the property over the bleak winter months on the sole proviso that his surveyors be allowed to continue their work unhindered.

The old stock exchange building will house homeless people over the winter.

Protest leader Wesley Hall, 33, had a phone conversation with Neville on Sunday and told The Guardian that he broke down in tears after the former United defender told him that he'd always supported homeless people and therefore had no problem letting the Angels use the hotel over Christmas.

"Thank you so much -- you don't understand what you have done for us," an emotional Hall said repeatedly to Neville during the phone call.

In return, Hall has promised Neville that the Angels will leave the building in "as good if not a better state than we found it in" and that he is planning to fit smoke alarms and locks on the doors, as well as drawing up rotas for cleaning, cooking and door security.

Lovely stuff all round.


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