'Is it contempt for the less fortunate?' James O'Brien blasts Tory Minister over poverty

16 May 2022, 12:00

By James Bickerton

James O'Brien questioned if Tory MPs, who have made controversial comments about the cost-of-living crisis, have "contempt for the less fortunate".

The latest outrage is focused on Home Office Minister Rachel Maclean, who told Sky News those struggling financially could be "taking on more hours or moving to a better-paid job".

In response, James said: "How can she end up thinking that?

"The numbers are there - it's not an opinion, it's counting."

Ms Maclean's remark follows controversial comments about budgeting by Conservative backbencher Lee Anderson.

The outspoken Tory said Britain has "generation after generation who cannot cook properly" and said a food bank in his constituency can "make a meal for about 30p a day".

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Reacting to the Conservative comments James commented: "How can they be inhabiting such a non-sensical universe?!

"Is it an absence of empathy? Is it an absence of intelligence, emotional intelligence? Is it just denialism.

"What is it in the minds of these people that makes them so unpleasant?

"So fundamentally and performatively unpleasant. It's a level of ignorance that, if you found yourself thinking it, if you were possessed of a modicum of decency, you'd stay silent.

"Is it contempt? Is it just contempt for the less fortunate?"

A recent Food Foundation survey found that one-in-seven British adults are now food insecure.

This amounts to 7.3 million people, up 2.5 million on the comparative figure from January.

Earlier this month the Bank of England raised the UK's inflation rate to 1.0%, in a bid to tackle runaway inflation which is projected to hit 10% by the end of the year.

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