Now Jacob Rees Mogg puts his foot in it over food banks

Written by Rod Muir on 14 September 2017 in Diary

It turns out that Dominic Raab is not the only Tory MP to have controversial views in this area.

Jacob Rees Mogg has followed in the footsteps of fellow Tory MP Dominic Raab by speaking out on food banks – and attracting immediate criticism.

Raab recently expressed the opinion that people who use food banks typically do so because they have an occasional "cashflow problem".  His remarks prompted jeers from the audience on BBC2’s Victoria Derbyshire show and attacks from rival politicians.

But it did not affect his standing among Tory activists, with Raab having recently risen up the league table of Tory MPs who grassroots members would like to be the next leader. The justice minister and ardent Brexiteer is now just above Boris Johnson in the latest rankings.

Now Jacob Rees Mogg - the favourite among grassroots Tories to replace Theresa May – has comes under fire for describing the increased prevalence of food banks as a "rather uplifting" show of charity.

Rees Mogg was appearing on LBC Radio a week after he was widely condemned for declaring that he is against same-sex marriage and opposes abortion even in cases of rape.

Challenged by a caller about the increased use of food banks, he said: "I don’t think the state can do everything. It tries to provide a base of welfare that should allow people to make ends meet during the course of the week, but on some occasions that will not work.

"And to have charitable support given by people voluntarily to support their fellow citizens, I think is rather uplifting and shows what a good, compassionate country we are."

The Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network, quickly took issue with the Tory MP. "We agree that the work of volunteers and voluntary organisations is uplifting, but food banks are an emergency service and whilst they do all they can to offer support to people in crisis they cannot solve structural problems alone," said head of media Garry Lemon.

Naturally, Labour seized on comments with Ian Lavery, a Labour MP and the party’s national campaign coordinator, stating the “This kind of comment shows Jacob Rees-Mogg really is the dictionary definition of an out-of-touch Tory.”

But if the case of Raab is anything to go by, then Tory members may be a bit more relaxed about Rees Mogg's latest remarks.



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