Outrage as '30p Lee' made deputy Tory HQ chief

Lee Anderson has been promoted to deputy chairman of the Conservative Party
Lee Anderson has been promoted to deputy chairman of the Conservative Party


THE Tory MP who claimed “do-gooders” were starting food banks to make themselves feel good has been promoted to deputy party chairman.

Lee Anderson, the MP for Ashfield, became known as “30p Lee” after he claimed in the House of Commons that meals could be cooked from scratch “for about 30 pence a day”.

He made the comments during a rant about food banks in which he claimed that there wouldn’t be such a widespread need for food banks if people knew how to “cook properly”.

He said: "I've got a big bee in my bonnet about food poverty. I'm a big believer that we do need food banks, but not to the degree we've got them.

"Every do-gooder is starting these little projects to make themselves feel good.

“We’ve got generation after generation who cannot cook properly, they can’t cook a meal from scratch, they cannot budget. The challenge is there.

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“Come to Ashfield and work with me for a day in my foodbank and see the brilliant scheme we’ve got in place.

“When people come now for a food parcel they have to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course.

Watch: Tory MP says foodbank users 'cannot cook properly'

“We show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on budget. We can make a meal for about 30 pence a day and this is cooking from scratch.”

His comments were widely disparaged by food poverty campaigners and opposition politicians, with the SNP labelling Anderson’s comments “crass”.

The UK Government also distancing themselves, with then justice minister Victoria Atkins saying the statement was “not right”.

Anderson also boycotted the England football team’s games during the European Championship because of the players decision to take the knee as a gesture denouncing racism.

The MP said he saw the act as “associated with Black Lives Matter” and that it “grated” on him.

A red wall Tory – and former staffer for former Labour MP for Ashfield Gloria de Piero – Anderson is firmly pro-Brexit and far to the right of the party on immigration.

His appointment has raised eyebrows, particularly as he not known to be loyal to Rishi Sunak.

Plaid Cymru’s leader at Westminster, Liz Saville-Roberts, said his appointment was a “reflection of the sorry state of Westminster politics”.

She said: “What did Lee Anderson do to deserve a promotion? Accuse foodbank users of wasting money on booze and fags?

“Lie that most asylum seekers are illegal migrants? Demonise Travellers? Use his staff as a political football?

“A reflection of the sorry state of Westminster politics.”