Food bank row Tory MP Lee Anderson says he has proven he can make meals for 30p

Tory MP Lee Anderson says he has proven that people can make meals costing 30p.

The backbencher and MP for Ashford hit the headlines this week after his controversial comments concerning food banks.

Speaking to the House of Commons on Wednesday, he said that “generation after generation” of people “cannot budget” or make meals properly.

Mr Anderson also said in the Commons that meals could be cooked from scratch "for about 30 pence a day" as he invited "everybody" on the opposition benches to visit a food bank in Ashfield.

His comments were branded “beyond belief” by Labour, “disgraceful”, by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP said they were “crass”.

Mr Anderson has stood by his comments and he says he has proven that people can make the meals for 30p when he visited a food bank in his constituency - where they also host cookery and budgeting courses.

Speaking to ITV News, he said: "The last cooking session we did, which we publicised - where we had four MPs here - we made I think 180 meals for fifty quid, which is 30p each.

"So there's the real proof, so if people want to come here and have a go and we can teach them then surely they will stand back and say we can cook on a budget and thank you for doing it."

Despite the worsening cost-of-living crisis, Lee Anderson said during a Commons debate on the Queen's Speech on Wednesday "there’s not this massive use for food banks in this country".

He went on: "We’ve got generation after generation who cannot cook properly, they can’t cook a meal from scratch, they cannot budget."

MP Lee Anderson Credit: ITV Central

The Trussell Trust, which supports a network of food banks in the UK, responded to Mr Anderson's comments, saying: “Cooking from scratch won’t help families keep the lights on or put food on the table, if they don’t have enough money in their pockets.

"Our research shows that people at food banks had on average just £57 a week to live on after housing costs, and no amount of budget management or cooking classes will make this stretch to cover council tax, energy bills, food and all the other essentials we all need to get by."

Mr Anderson suggested food bank use had risen because some people could not cook or budget properly Credit: UK Parliament/PA

Likewise, SNP MP Joanna Cherry told Mr Anderson people do not use food banks because they do not know how to cook, but because "we have poverty in this country at a scale that should shame his government".

Mr Anderson, however, said meals could be cooked from scratch "for about 30 pence a day" as he invited "everybody" on the opposition benches to visit a food bank in Ashfield.

"When people come now for a food parcel, they have to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course".


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