'Is it a political stunt?" Nick Ferrari grills Minister over Unicef comments by Tory MP

18 December 2020, 08:52

Minister: Donors to UNICEF might be surprised money is being spent in Southwark

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This is the moment Nick Ferrari challenged Schools Minister Nick Gibb over comments made by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.

It comes after the Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs it was "a scandal" that the charity had said it would help feed 1,800 hungry children over Christmas for the first time in its 70-year history, calling the move "a political stunt of the lowest order".

Nick asked the Schools Minister if he thought the move by Unicef was a political stunt.

Refusing to be drawn, Mr Gibb said it was up to the charity what they spent their money on, but as a Government, they were committed to ensuring children are fed.

Setting out how Boris Johnson's Government was supporting those children in need to food the Minister told LBC exactly what had been done since March.

Again LBC host Nick Ferrari pressed the Minister for an answer.

"Is it a political stunt?"

Responding, Mr Gibb said he thought many of the thousands of people who donate money to Unbicef "which they thought was being spent on tackling poverty around the world, might be surprised that it's being spent in this country."

Labour MP: Rees-Mogg should visit Southwark foodbanks

On Wednesday Unicef announced it would pledge a grant of £25,000 to the charity School Food Matters which will use the money to supply thousands of breakfast boxes over the two-week Christmas school holidays to vulnerable children and families in Southwark, south London.

The charity said each box will provide enough food for 10 breakfasts across the Christmas holidays.

But, Tory MP Jacob Rees- Mogg hit out at the pledge, branding it "a political stunt of the lowest order" he said the UN back charity should be"ashamed" of itself for "playing politics".

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "I think it is a real scandal that Unicef should be playing politics in this way when it is meant to be looking after people in the poorest, the most deprived, countries of the world where people are starving, where there are famines and where there are civil wars, and they make cheap political points of this kind, giving, I think, £25,000 to one council. It is a political stunt of the lowest order."

He added: "Unicef should be ashamed of itself".

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