GB News: Furious panellists argue over Tory MP food bank spat – ‘Blame the poor people’

Tory MP Lee Anderson defends his food banks comments

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As the crunch of the cost-of-living crisis hits households across the UK, with energy bills and food prices skyrocketing at the fastest rate in three decades, food banks are becoming an essential service for many families. While Mr Anderson admitted that many people who use food banks are in need of the service, he told ITV Central: “There’s people that are abusing the system and there’s people that go because, you know like I say, they’re not allowed to budget, they’re not allowed to cook properly.”

Broadcaster and author Amy Nickell featured on the GB News panel and was outraged by the comments, saying: “There are other things he could have said to deal with food poverty than people need to register for a cooking course to use a food bank.

“Since 2010 the rate of people using food banks has skyrocketed. Are you suggesting that people forgot to cook since 2010?!”

GB News host Dan Wootton slammed Ms Nickell for her “pointless” statement and questioned “that just because the rates have skyrocketed that [Mr Anderson] doesn’t have a right to try and solve the problem?”

Ms Nickell claimed that the problem was solved during the COVID-19 pandemic when “benefit sanctions were suspended, and universal credit was topped up and during that period the use of food banks dropped”.

Mr Wootton accused the broadcaster of giving the standard “Leftist answer” of higher benefits to solve problems.

Tory MP Shaun Bailey blamed the Left for “vilifying” and “attacking” Mr Anderson and ignoring the key issue, for which they should be ashamed.

He said: “If you want to help poor people, you have to discuss their problems.

“To just vilify an MP who is trying to bring this to the fore is ridiculous and that’s why anybody on the Left who is at home now outraged should be ashamed of themselves and should be trying to have this conversation properly not turn it into an attack on an MP.”

Political commentator Dominique Samuels and Ms Nickell engaged in a spat during the debate after Ms Nickel stated that “the existence of food banks is innately shameful.”

Ms Samuels rebutted the notion stating: “Food banks are designed to be a safety net. 

“Where inequality exists, there will always have to be safety nets to help people. You cannot eradicate inequality altogether.”

She later added: “You sound unrealistic. Not everything is sunshine and rainbows.”

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Ms Nickell accused the commentator of “sounding like a Victorian trying to justify a workhouse” and that the comments of Mr Anderson and the panel was centred around “blaming the poor people”.

Ms Samuels replied: “Instead of just blaming the government, because when you say ‘it’s the government, it’s the government’ you give them no incentive to try and change things for themselves.

“It is about self-sufficiency.”

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