Middlesbrough MP's emotional reaction to food bank volunteer, 94, sitting in darkness at night

Labour's Andy McDonald called Pauline's situation "shameful". Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A Middlesbrough MP described the situation as "shameful" after learning of a 94-year-old woman in his constituency sitting in the dark in fear of her energy bills.

Labour's Andy McDonald was visibly moved when he watched our report, which showed food bank volunteer Pauline sitting with a hot water bottle by torchlight, afraid to turn on the lights or heating.

He started to ask how "people of that generation" have been let down when he had to step away from the camera, overcome with emotion.

The opposition MP says local services have been stripped back so much, there is little money left to help people like Pauline.

Mr McDonald said: "In Middlesbrough, 80% of the local authority budget is spent on adult social care and on children's services.

"There is no flesh here. There is no fat to trim. They are digging into the bone."

"We are talking about life and death situations for many people," he continued.

"I fear that that people in my constituency will die in their own homes when this winter bites."

In response to our report, a Government spokesperson said: "We recognise that people are struggling with rising prices which is why we are protecting millions of the most vulnerable families with at least £1,200 of direct payments including providing all households with £400 towards energy costs.

"As part of our £37bn support package we are also allowing people on Universal Credit to keep £1,000 more of what they earn, while vulnerable families in England are being supported by the Government's Household Support Fund - which was boosted by £500million - to help pay for essentials."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...