Conservative MP Lee Anderson criticized for appalling comments claiming families ‘abuse’ food banks
Conservative Vice President Lee Anderson once again made appalling comments about families struggling with poverty, this time claiming that some “abuse” food banks because they also eat at McDonald’s.
Speaking at a Westminster Hall debate on tackling poverty, Anderson, who has previously said Britons use food banks because they “can’t cook properly” and “can’t budget,” told MPs: “We now have this culture in some of these deprived areas where people are so reliant on food banks that it’s like a weekly store for them.
“One particular family I was helping, really, and they would go to the food bank two or three times a week to shop and then, you know, I see them at McDonald’s two or three times a week.
“I think, gosh, I don’t want to stop kids from going out for a treat once in a while, but it’s all about priorities. If you’re really struggling for money and you go to a food bank two or three times a week, you shouldn’t be going out for fast food, takeout every week. You shouldn’t do that.
“Food banks are abused. Constituents tell me every day that they are making up or telling lies or whatever, but they are being mistreated. They’re being abused, food banks are being abused by people who don’t need food banks – we should target food banks.
The Ashfield MP was condemned online for his comments, with Nazir Afzal tweeting, “The only time you should look down on people is when you offer to help them
“Here Congressman Lee Anderson is demonizing the poor by eating meals we subsidize for him, living in a house we heat for him, and paying for the rides he takes
Adam Bienkov of Byline Times tweeted in response to the video, “Conservative Vice President Lee Anderson says a family in his local constituency that regularly uses his local food bank, he also sees in McDonalds “two or three times a week.”.
“How is this possible? Does he have them under surveillance ?
What Conservative MPs like Anderson and the government want to do is falsely portray poverty as the result of “individual character flaws” and “bad choices” as a strategy for the government and others to deflect responsibility for their policies that have plunged millions into destitution.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward