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Fury on Merseyside at Tory MP who said people using foodbanks 'can't cook properly'

By Liam Thorp

Foodbank workers and volunteers in Merseyside have shared their anger after comments made by a Conservative MP, who suggested poverty-hit people cannot budget or cook properly.

Tory Lee Anderson, who represents Ashfield, sparked outrage in the House of Commons yesterday, when he said 'there is not this massive use for food banks in this country' - despite the UK being in the grip of a cost of living crisis and more and more people being pushed into poverty.

Mr Anderson said: "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." He claimed people could instead cook meals for 30p a day.

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The comments have caused anger across the country, with so many people now struggling under the pressures of spiralling inflation, soaring energy bills and last year's cut to Universal Credit. Here in Merseyside, more and more people are being forced to rely on foodbanks to feed their families.

A Liverpool-based foodbank volunteer recalled a recent experience on twitter, she said: "Last week a young lad declined cereal because he didn’t have milk and didn’t have any money until the following week. He thought through every item, what could be paired with what to make a basic meal."

She added: "Budgeting every penny, being inventive with very little, this is constant. What too is constant is the complete bullsh** from these MPs when they don’t have a clue what it’s actually like and then gaslighting by saying ‘you just need to do better’. No.. YOU DO BETTER."

Donna Scully volunteers at foodbanks and homeless outreach centres in Merseyside. She said: "On behalf of hungry people I meet on Sunday mornings week in, week out, some who haven’t eaten for 3/4 days, I’m so angry at this. I know you wish you had money to buy food or heat your home but cos of years of austerity and increased costs, you’re destitute. Let him try hungry."

Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne is one of the founders of the Fans Supporting Foodbanks project, which started in Liverpool but has developed into a national network of foodbank collections by football fans. He is also leading on a campaign to make a Right to Food a part of UK law.

Mr Byrne said he did not want to comment directly on Mr Anderson's 'offensive diatribe'' or give him 'more oxygen'. He instead invited any residents in Mr Anderson's constituency to get in touch to find out more about the Right to Food campaign.

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Dive Deeper:
Tory MP moans poor people 'can't cook properly' and boasts meals only cost 30p
Ashfield Conservative MP Lee Anderson claimed "generation after generation" of people in his constituency "cannot budget" and "there is not…
Tory MP blames food bank use on people that 'can't cook or budget'
A TORY MP has claimed there is not a “massive use” for food banks in the UK, but a “generation”…
Tory MP : People use food banks because they cannot budget or cook properly
Ashfield MP Lee Anderson made the remarks during a debate on the Queen’s Speech in the House of Commons.
Tory MP claims no ‘massive use’ for food banks, saying people unable to cook and budget ‘properly’
‘We’ve got generation after generation who cannot cook properly, they can’t cook a meal from scratch’
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Tory MP Lee Anderson unrepentant over claims poor people use food banks because they 'can't cook'
Lee Anderson MP doubled down on his Commons comments by insisting the solution to food bank use was cooking and…
The things people in Wales really want to say to the Tory MP who said poor people don't know how to cook or budget
One suggested that the canteen at the Houses of Parliament should provide meals using 30p worth of ingredients
Get all your news in one place