Labour Councillors are calling on the Brighton & Hove Conservatives to apologise or explain their comments at the Recovery Sub-Committee meeting on Wednesday 3 March, when the lead Tory Councillor for Finance suggested that food bank users “have their priorities wrong”.
The comments came during a debate on Labour’s proposal to lobby government to enshrine the ‘right to food’ into law – and Labour Councillors were shocked at the language used by the Conservatives, who were seemingly blaming food poverty on its victims.
Labour Councillors have highlighted the perfect storm created by the Conservative Government of low wages, precarious and insecure work exacerbated by the undermining of trade unions, welfare benefits being insufficient to live on, the lack of affordable housing and overcrowding, all leading to food poverty.
Labour are urging the Conservative Group to provide an explanation for their comments and an apology to the volunteers and users of Whitehawk Food Bank, whom the Tories referenced in their ill-judged remarks on Wednesday.
Labour leader Councillor Nancy Platts says:
“I was absolutely appalled by the comments.
“I’ve volunteered at all the food banks in my ward of East Brighton and have heard first-hand from those who are struggling desperately to make ends meet and feed themselves and their families.
“These comments are another astonishing example of the Conservatives being totally out of touch and refusing to acknowledge the local impact of their national policies.
“I’ll be writing to the Leader of the Conservative Group personally, asking for an apology to Whitehawk Food Bank and all food bank users.”
Image: Whitehawk Food Bank