Michael Fabricant. Picture: UK Parliament
Michael Fabricant. Picture: UK Parliament

Lichfield’s MP says food banks “have a role to play” after he confirmed a visit to one in the city.

Michael Fabricant confirmed he would be meeting volunteers at Lichfield Foodbank this weekend.

It comes after figures revealed an increase in the numbers using the local service over the past year.

The Conservative MP said:

“I am visiting Lichfield Foodbank because they chose to invite me and I enjoy meeting community volunteers in Lichfield.

“Food banks have a role to play and will operate whatever political party is in power.

“They also operate in the US and across the EU.”

Michael Fabricant

Mr Fabricant’s visit comes after fellow Conservative MP Lee Anderson faced a backlash after he suggested foodbank usage was caused by people not being able to prepare meals or budget correctly.

“There’s not this massive use for food banks in this country.

“We’ve got generation after generation who cannot cook properly.”

Lee Anderson

But Mr Anderson – who claimed almost £220,000 in expenses from 2020 to 2021 – was criticised by figures including author and campaigner Jack Monroe who said the MP’s had “nasty little ill-informed views”.

“You can’t cook meals from scratch with nothing – you can’t buy cheap food with nothing.”

Jack Monroe

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17 Comments

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  1. Food banks exist because of a total failure of Government and politicians to understand the economic reality faced by so many people. I’m not convinced a photo op visit will convince our MP that he has a “role to play” to make sure his constituents do not need such help.

  2. This normalisation of Food Bank use, and in particular the huge increase in Food Bank use is just Tory gaslighting. Just because Food Banks exist elsewhere does not mean that they should just be accepted and the problems that cause their need ignored. Food Banks should be a last resort, they should be not be the norm for millions of people in one of the richest countries in the world, the should not be the norm for millions of people in a country when the wealth of and number of billionaires are rising almost as quickly. Inequality is the cause of so many of the problems facing this (and many other) country. Tory policy and action over the last decade has massively increased inequality. It is not a good thing just because it is happening elsewhere.

  3. Total failure of govt policy has led to this.
    I sometimes feel I’m living in a Dickens novel.
    What an utter disgrace that they are needed in this day and age when you tory mp’s are claiming thousands in expenses and suggesting a meal for 30p is acceptable to the ‘deserving poor’.
    You disgust me and I can’t wait for you to be removed.
    Lichfield really is a rotten borough with you and the shambolic tory run council.

  4. Al last! After all the messages, and brow beating to get him to visit!!

    Well done to everyone who messaged him and put pressure on him to visit a Lichfield Food Bank. Just a shame we had to do this.

  5. Great news that he’s doing this, although people have been pestering him to do it for a long time. Well done to Lichfield Lips on Twitter too, for campaigning on this issue.

  6. I looked on the Trussell Trust website and note that food bank usage in the UK has in most cases at least doubled since 2014/15. The absolute shambles of the Tory cuts in welfare and barely any assistance for the lowest income households has led to taxpayers donating to food banks. All the while MPs have their luxury meals and alcohol subsidised in Parliament. MPs like Fabricant are parasites who have no experience of poverty. Food banks are only necessary because the Tories don’t care to fund welfare. Almost no-one has had a pay increase for over a decade. And inflation is heading towards 10%. Many people barely exist on zero hour contracts, work more than one job – and can no longer afford their bills. And the government does nothing. Is Fabricant’s visit like the Tory councillors who were photographed laughing at their visit to a new food bank venue? Where they indulged in a buffet. His visit is likely to be mostly a photo opportunity. Tory propaganda machine. It makes it look as though they care. But they don’t. If they cared they wouldn’t be taking £80000 a year and claiming subsidy for their TV licences, their second home furnishings, and their cheap meals and alcohol in Parliament. How many other Tory MPs are visiting their constituency food banks this week? I bet they have been told it is a priority. To counter the ludicrous claim this week that the use of food banks has been exaggerated by social media. It has reached mammoth proportions. By the MP who charged £220000 last year in expenses. The local elections sent a message to the Conservative party. It’s time for politicians in government who care about people and country. This Tory bunch don’t. Back benchers are nodding dogs. Michael Fabricant is just that. The UK is not rich. But MPs are.

  7. I doubt he will suggest the 6th largest economy in the world should not have food banks. Anyway, why anyone would want to be visited by a shyster with a Magic Roundabout character on his head bamboozles me. Isn’t his invisibility good for Lichfield?

  8. Will there be tears which a crocodile would think insincere or a misquoting of Shelley, “Look on my works ye puny and despair.”?

  9. Yes, the EU countries do have food banks. They also have much better pensions, wages, workers rights, health service, cheap efficient transport, much higher benefits, freedom of movement, far fewer Covid deaths and an all round better lifestyle.

  10. The Trussell Trust is the UK’s biggest foodbank network. In 2008-9 they supplied 3 days’ worth of emergency food to 25,899 households. Last year? 2,173,158. The year before? Over 2.5m.

    I have worked for a charity for the last 15 years, and I’ve never encountered such levels of destitution as we are seeing now. Our MP airily waves away people going hungry in the 5th-largest economy in the world. Fabricant is a shoddy excuse for a human being, he makes me sick.

  11. Food banks have a role to play in helping to keep people alive despite the policies of Fabricant and his ilk.

  12. How dare our MP acquiesce to the existence of foodbanks. He should be working to make them redundant by improving the lot of so many – significant numbers of whom are actually in work – foodbank users. He and his fellow Tories need to take a long hard look at themselves as they enjoy subsidised meals in Westminster and the easy availability of alcohol in the workplace. Foodbanks have increased in use under this Tory government and their use will continue to grow in the current cost of living crisis. Shame on you, Michael Fabricant.

  13. Those who know their history can point to a time when our leadership was so bad we had to bring in a new one from the Netherlands. Time for history to repeat itself.

  14. I’m disappointed he’s being let near the food bank it’s just a photo opportunity,hope they give him what for and refuse to be photographed with him

  15. I sincerely hope that the Food bank volunteers show solidarity, and refuse to have a picture taken with him, as we all know he’s only doing this for a photo opportunity to promote on Twitter.

    As another commentator has said, he would not be doing it in the first place, if weren’t for “Lichfield’s Lips” Twitter campaign.

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