The Conservative MP has defended his comments about food banks after saying people use them because they “can’t cook properly” and “don’t have the budget”.
Lee Anderson has invited “everyone” on the Commons opposition bench to visit a food bank in his Nottinghamshire constituency, where, when people come to buy a package of food, they now need Sign up for a “budgeting course” and a “cooking course.”
Asked by a Labor MP if it was necessary to have food banks in 21st century Britain, MP Ashfield said there was no ‘big use of food banks’ in the UK, but ” generation after generation can’t cook properly” and “Can’t budget”.
His comments during the second day of the Queen’s Speech debate in the Commons were harshly criticized, with some urging him to apologize.
However, Mr. Anderson hit back at the report’s comments, writing on Facebook: “Gutter Press Again.
“I’m not saying the poor can’t cook or don’t need a food bank. I was told that there is currently no need suggested by MSM (mainstream media).
“Today I challenged the entire Parliamentary Labor Party to Ashfield to visit the food bank I work for. Give away food packages with the condition of signing up for cooking classes and budgeting.
“I have done a number of events at the food bank where we do a bunch of cooked food on a budget. My offer is valid. Come to Ashfield. ”
Cooking from scratch won’t help families turn on the lights or put food on the table, if they don’t have enough money in their pocket
He is backed by Conservative MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley, who says there is a problem with “basic education” and numeracy skills.
Mr Bradley told Nottinghamshire Live: “Everybody Lee’s comment about a small group of people, and there’s a cycle, he’s absolutely right, about a small number, or a really large number, but a minority. numbers, poor families and generations. education, poor basic skills in cooking and budgeting, if you are a parent you don’t know how to do everything and you find that the cycle of poverty and it is important to get through it at some point stage with the kind of education that Lee is talking about. . ”
Labor considers Mr Anderson’s remarks “beyond belief”, and Liberal Democrats describe them as “disgraceful” and the SNP says they are “disgusting”.
The Child Poverty Action Group claims politicians “will do better to support real-world solutions, such as delivering inflation-matched benefits this fall,” and the organization from The Trussell Trust asserts that “cooking meals from scratch will not help families turn on the lights or light the food on the table, if they don’t have enough money in their pocket”.
The idea that the problem is culinary skills and not 12 years of government decisions that are pushing people into extreme poverty is beyond belief.
The Trade Union General Assembly insisted the comments showed “how out of touch Conservative MPs and ministers are with the cost of living emergency”.
SNP MP Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West), who is next to speak in the Commons debate, told Mr Anderson that people don’t use food banks because they don’t know how to cook, but because “we are poor” in this country on a scale that shames its Government”.
Shadow Work and Pensions Minister Karen Buck said: “In a world where people actually live, we now hear daily stories about families lacking food and others unable to eat. turned on the oven for fear of rising energy bills.
“The idea that the problem is cooking skills and not 12 years of government decisions that are pushing people into extreme poverty is beyond belief.
“No contact doesn’t even cover it.”
Instead of being condescending, Conservative politicians should put pressure on the Prime Minister to call the emergency budget
Liberal Democrats and pensions spokeswoman Wendy Chamberlain said in a statement outside the Commons: “These comments are disgraceful and an insult to millions of hard-working people. , who are struggling to put food on the table for their family through no fault of their own.
“Lee Anderson should immediately apologize for his embarrassing remarks.”
SNP jobs and pensions spokeswoman Kirsty Blackman said: “These comments from a Tory MP that people using food banks do so because they don’t know how to cook or the budget are to blame. , but they also emphasized how this broken Tory Government could not be contacted. is with ordinary people. ”
TUC Secretary-General Frances O’Grady said that “instead of being condescending, Conservative politicians should put pressure on the Prime Minister to call for an emergency budget”.