Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has been criticised after he described the growing use of food banks in the UK as ‘rather uplifting’.
Speaking to MP, the leadership favourite claimed that instead of showing the level of poverty in the UK, food banks proved what ‘a good compassionate country we are’.
‘I don’t think the state can do everything that it tries’, he told LBC radio.
‘It provides a basic level of welfare … 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.’
When asked about the sharp rise in the use of food banks in recent years, Mr Rees-Mogg also claimed that the increase was because people ‘know they are there’.
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‘The real reason for the rise in numbers is because people know they are there and Labour refused to tell them.’
Responding to his comments on Twitter, former shadow Secretary of State Angela Eagle wrote: ‘Oh dear, words fail me.’
The exact same phrase was used by former Labour leadership contender Chuka Umunna.
Oh dear – words fail me: Jacob Rees-Mogg says rise in food bank use is 'rather uplifting' https://t.co/Y0j23cuw1m
— Angela Eagle (@angelaeagle) September 14, 2017
Words fail me. And this bloke is favourite amongst Tory members to succeed May! https://t.co/JAcZBf7qm2
— Chuka Umunna (@ChukaUmunna) September 14, 2017
Last week, Rees-Mogg came under fire after he appeared on Good Morning Britain and defended his opposition to same-sex marriage. He also reiterated his belief that abortion is never acceptable – even in instances where a child is the product of rape or incest.