Tory MP Who Said Food Bank Users 'Cannot Budget' Takes Aim At Mick Lynch

Mick Lynch was criticised by Tory MP Lee Anderson over the rail strikes (Photo: Getty/TalkTV)
Mick Lynch was criticised by Tory MP Lee Anderson over the rail strikes (Photo: Getty/TalkTV)

Mick Lynch was criticised by Tory MP Lee Anderson over the rail strikes (Photo: Getty/TalkTV)

Tory MP Lee Anderson took a pop at union leader Mick Lynch on Thursday, and claimed the striking rail workers were “holding the country to ransom”.

Anderson, who caused a stir in May by claiming people who use food banks can’t budget or cook, did not hold back when discussing the latest industrial action taking place across the country this week.

The MP hit out at the general secretary of the Railway, Maritime and Transport (RMT), Lynch, who has been calling for rail companies to increase workers’ pay, protect jobs and working conditions in recent months.

Speaking to TalkTV, Anderson said: “The union leaders, the Mick Lynchs of this world, are creating havoc throughout this country.

“These people aren’t interested in working class people at all, I don’t even think they’re interested in the members.

“What happens is you get fifth columnists, these union leaders, holding the country to ransom.

Quite frankly they should be ashamed of themselves.”

He also alleged that these are people earning “nearly as much as the prime minister” with £150,000 a year “holding the country to ransom”.

It’s worth noting that Lynch dismissed claims that he was on a six-figure salary on Thursday morning, telling ITV’s Good Morning Britain that such allegations were “completely untrue”.

But this morning, TalkTV’s host, Mike Graham, responded to Anderson’s claims about Lynch by suggesting that there were “champagne socialists” who supported the idea of strikes,  and who blame the government for mishandling the entire industry.

Anderson also questioned the industry altogether, claiming that sometimes there’s only one person on his train – himself – and at the underground barriers, there can be “10 or 11 people” being “not very helpful at the best of times”.

While London Underground staff are not involved with the rail strikes, they will be walking out on Friday in a separate dispute over pay.

Anderson continued: “The great British taxpayer – people on minimum wage, people on living wage, are going to work to subside this industry.”

Graham replied by agreeing that trains were not the primary mode of transport for most people.

He even claimed that drivers now have “to pay more and more money to buy the car, everything you do with the car is more expensive, but for most people in this country, the car is the only way you can get around”.

The Tory MP added: “We are being victimised by these union leaders, these rail union leaders, who quite frankly do not give a toss, Mike, about the rest of the country.”

“They’ve got this big bee in their bonnet, they are the official opposition because the Labour Party are pretty useless at the moment, and they’re saying, ‘look at us, we can hold the country to ransom, we’re not bothered that the government has just bailed the country out with taxpayer money over the last two and a half years.’”

Impersonating the union members, Anderson added: “‘You know what, we don’t care about Britain really do we?’”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.