A Tory MP has sparked fury after he claimed Brits below the poverty line, forced to rely on food banks “cannot budget” and “cannot cook properly”.
Conservative Lee Anderson left MPs stunned when – despite the country suffering from a cost of living crisis due to soaring inflation, Universal Credit cutbacks and rising energy bills – he said “there is not this massive use for food banks in this country”.
Speaking in the Commons during a debate on the Queen’s Speech, he said people could “cook meals from scratch for “30p a day” instead.
He claimed there is a “brilliant scheme” at the foodbank in Ashfield, adding “When people come now for a food parcel, they’ve got to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course.
“And what we do at the food bank, we show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget. We can make a meal for around 30p a day and this is cooking from scratch.”
Labour MP Alex Cunningham then intervened, asking: should it be necessary to have food banks in 21st Century Britain.
“I think you will see there is not this massive use for food banks in this country. We have got generation after generation who cannot cook properly. They cannot cook a meal from scratch. They cannot budget.”
The comment sparked widespread outrage. National Director of the charity Feeding Britain Andrew Forsey said: “This time last year, the queues outside food banks were mercifully beginning to shorten.
“Our country was demonstrating that the growing need for food banks is not inevitable.
Anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe tweeted: “You can’t cook meals from scratch with nothing. You can’t buy cheap food with nothing.”
You can’t cook meals from scratch with nothing.
You can’t buy cheap food with nothing.
The issue is not ‘skills’, it’s 12 years of Conservative cuts to social support.
The square root of fuck all is ALWAYS going to be fuck all, no matter how creatively you’re told to dice it.
— Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) May 11, 2022