Ann Widdecombe has told poor families they shouldn’t expect to be able to have a cheese sandwich if they don’t have the money.
The former Tory MP said hard-pressed families should not “do the cheese sandwich” on a BBC politics show discussing the cost-of-living crisis.
Widdecombe is a former Strictly Come Dancing contestant who has also represented the Brexit Party in the European parliament, and now backs the Reform Party.
The cost of a homemade cheese sandwich rose by one-third to 40p last year, BBC research suggests.
Politics Live presenter Jo Coburn asked: “What do you say to consumers who literally can’t afford to pay for even some of the basics if they have gone up the way that cheese sandwich has, with all its ingredients?”
She replied: “Well then you don’t do the cheese sandwich ... because we have been decades without inflation we have come to regard it as some sort of given right that our food doesn’t go up.”
What does Anne Widdecombe say to people who can't afford some of the basics, like a cheese sandwich?
"Then you don't do the cheese sandwich," adding, "we've come to regard it as some sort of given right that our food doesn't go up"https://t.co/V3BihNfFX1#PoliticsLivepic.twitter.com/LubACabPc2
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) May 16, 2023
In response, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said: “How out of touch can you get? Anne Widdecombe joins a long line of right-wing politicians who pin the blame on hard-working families for this government’s failures.”
The latest inflation figures from Which? show the cost of British food staples such as cheddar cheese, white bread and porridge oats have soared on a year ago.
Overall inflation on food and drink at supermarkets continued to rise in March to 17.2%, up from 16.5% the month before, the watchdog found.
Cheddar cheese prices increased by an average 28.3% across eight major supermarkets compared to a year ago.
UK inflation remained above 10% in March – far higher than in the US and Europe – with food prices pushing the benchmark up.
Her comment echo the sentiments of Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson, who attracted criticism for suggesting that people in the UK use food banks because they “cannot cook properly” and “cannot budget”.