Tory MP defends food bank comments after Leftie outrage meltdown

Lee Anderson defends his food bank comment

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The Tory MP has come under fire for comments he made in the House of Commons surrounding food affordability during the cost of living crisis.

In his parliamentary address Mr Anderson said: “There is not this massive use for food banks in this country, but generation after generation who cannot cook properly, they can’t cook a meal from scratch and they cannot budget.” 

The MP for Ashfield defended his statement to the Commons in his appearance on Talk TV alongside host Julia Hartley-Brewer.

He said: “There are some poor people who can’t cook, there are some rich people that can’t cook, I’m sure there.”

He continued: “The point I was trying to make is that we need to try and reduce the dependency for food bank use in this country.

“Of course, there are always people who abuse the system, they take the Michael, and there are genuine cases who need support and help. 

“There are people as well, which we’ve identified, that need support and help and education in budgeting and cooking skills – it works reasonably well.

“We’ve got two or three generations now that have been brought up in households that haven’t had any skills passed onto them, like probably you did with your parents and I did with my parents and grandparents.”

The Tory MP added: “They can’t budget, they can’t shop properly, they can’t cook properly.

“If we can do that and help people cook cheaper meals and have a few quid left in their pocket at the end of the week, then I make no apologies for championing this cause.”

In his Commons statement, Mr Anderson described his experience as a volunteer at his local food bank in Ashfield.

The MP explained individuals who use the Ashfield food bank are also required to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course.

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Mr Anderson claimed the courses provided help to discourage repeated reliance on food bank resources.

He highlighted the importance of developing practical cooking skills and budgeting knowledge which can then establish financial independence within his community. 

The Tory MP said: “We show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget.

“We can make a meal from about 30 pence a day and this is cooking from scratch.”

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Critics of Mr Anderson have highlighted the Tory MP’s wage of more than £80,000 and hefty expenses claims.

In response, he said: “People are saying I claim £200,000 in expenses, yes I do, that’s to pay my staff’s wages – now if I didn’t pay my staff any wages, they’d be using the food banks.”

Following Mr Anderson’s Commons address, MP Joanna Cherry said: “To the previous speaker, all of us have food banks in our constituency and we don’t really need to visit his because we are perfectly well aware of the requirement for them.”

The SNP representative continued: “The requirement for them is not because people don’t know how to cook, it is because we have poverty in this country at a scale that shames his Government.”

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