THE Foreign Secretary has come under fire after posting a selfie from a food bank in his constituency.

Dominic Raab visited the East Elmbridge Foodbank in his Esher and Walton constituency, and thanked them for doing “an amazing job supporting the vulnerable” during the Covid-19 crisis.

Since the Tories were elected in 2010, the Trussell Trust – the largest food bank network in the UK – has seen a large increase in the number of food parcels it hands out each year.

Ten years ago the network gave out 41,000 food packs in one year – that figure had risen to a record 1.6 million by 2018/19.

Last year the trust’s own figures showed that a fifth of all referrals to food banks were linked to delays in receiving benefits – and almost half of these were related to Universal Credit. They also found a third of referrals were as a result of “low-income”.

As Raab posted his photograph from the food bank online, he was reminded of comments he had made about people who use such services.

Speaking at a debate in Edinburgh before the 2017 General Election, the MP said the Trussell Trust find “a typical user of a food bank is not someone who’s languishing in poverty, it’s someone who has a cash flow problem”.

He was widely criticised for the comment. In response the trust said: “It is our experience that people living in poverty are more likely to experience a sudden short-term crisis where they are referred for emergency food, whilst the underlying causes are addressed.”

Twitter users jumped on Raab’s post today. National contributor Ruth Wishart asked him: “Ever wondered why food bank use has risen exponentially- long before Covid but not long after 2010?”

Another referenced Tory promises of a “strong” economy. @SloughforEU told the Foreign Secretary: “You are one of those who regularly bragged about how we are the world's 5th largest economy. Have you considered how that can be the case yet we still need food banks?”

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Another user had a suggestion for Raab. “Dom, if you want to help people out of food poverty why not become an MP, maybe even a government minister. Think of all the good you could do then!”

Food banks have faced soaring demand amid the Covid-19 crisis, the Trussell Trust has warned.

In April it reported that it experienced its busiest ever period immediately after lockdown was announced, issuing 50,000 food parcels in just one week.

The Independent Food Aid Network also said its food banks had seen a 59% increase in demand fr emergency food support between February and March.