Tory candidate slammed for suggesting food bank users struggle with budgeting

Darren Henry is the Conservative Party candidate for Broxtowe. (Broxtowe Conservatives)

Conservative candidate has drawn criticism after suggesting that people using food banks struggle with being able to manage their budget.

Darren Henry, the Conservative candidate for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, made the comments during a hustings event in Beeston on Friday night.

In footage of his speech shared on social media, Mr Henry can be seen appearing to criticising those who use food banks over their ability to handle money.

“When they go down to the food bank, what they struggle with is maybe being able to manage their budget,” he said.

Anna Soubry, who is seeking reelection in the seat, criticised Mr Henry. (Getty)

“A thing that can help them is how we can offer them some advice and support.

“When people are really, really down, and when people haven’t got the money, one of the things they can look to do is to get a payday loan or something like that.

“If I’m in Parliament, as a private member’s bill, if I ever get the opportunity, one of the things I’d like to do is to try and stop payday loan advertising because that just makes the whole problem worse.

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“What we need to do is to be able to support these people and helping them understand budgets and money is a really useful thing and it’s something we can bring into schools as well.”

In the background, several people can be heard heckling the parliamentary candidate as he made the controversial comments.

Former Tory minister Anna Soubry, who is seeking re-election as an Independent Group for Change candidate in the seat, added her criticism soon afterwards.

“He’s utterly clueless and lacks the understanding and compassion to be an MP,” she said.

“Broxtowe’s food banks (we have one in Beeston and two in Stapleford) work with our excellent Citizens Advice Centre and help struggling families with debt and welfare claims.”

Ian Lavery, the chairman of the Labour Party, also condemned Mr Henry’s “out of touch” remarks.

“The Conservatives have no answers to the poverty they have caused in our communities,” he said.

“It shows how out of touch the Tories are that they think the way to tackle the surge in food bank use is to stop adverts for payday loan companies.

“There is a clear choice at this election: five more years of poverty, inequality and homelessness under the Tories, or a Labour government that will end food bank Britain and bring about real change.”

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