Lee Anderson MP who said foodbank users 'can't cook properly' defends comments on 30p meals

Credit: PA/Twitter

Lee Anderson has once again sparked controversy online after posting a picture of his breakfast in a bid to prove that people can live cheaply with 30p meals.

Taking to Twitter, the Tory MP for Ashfield, wrote: "Just been asked for proof of a 30p breakfast. There you go."

Alongside it, he posted a picture of two wheat grain biscuits with milk in a bowl - which users were quick to point out was a "stock image", and not his actual breakfast.

It comes after Mr Anderson had in May last year, said meals could be cooked from scratch "for about 30 pence a day" and invited "everybody" on the opposition benches to visit a food bank in Ashfield.

His comments had sparked furious reaction online when he suggested people should learn to better budget their finances, rather than use foodbanks.

Despite the worsening cost-of-living crisis, the Ashfield MP had said: "There's not this massive use for food banks in the country," during a Commons debate on the Queen's Speech in May, 2022.

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

He also said of a foodbank in his Ashfield constituency: "When people come now for a food parcel, they have to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course."

He added: "And what we do in the food bank, we show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget. We can make a meal for about 30 pence a day. And this is cooking from scratch."

Speaking after the incident, Labour branded Mr Anderson’s remarks “beyond belief”, the Liberal Democrats described them as “disgraceful”, and the SNP said they were “crass”.

The Trussell Trust, which supports a network of food banks in the UK, had at the time 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."

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