A TORY MP has claimed there is not a “massive use” for food banks in the UK, but a “generation” of people who are unable to cook properly.

The Conservative’s comments were rubbished by Joanna Cherry, who said Boris Johnson’s government should be “shamed” by its record on tackling poverty.

Lee Anderson invited “everybody” on the opposition benches to visit a food bank in his Ashfield constituency to “see the brilliant scheme we have got in place where when people come now for a food parcel, they have to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course”.

He added: “And what we do in the food bank, we show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget. We can make a meal for about 30 pence a day. And this is cooking from scratch.”

Intervening, Labour MP Alex Cunningham asked: “Should it be necessary to have food banks in 21st century Britain?”

Anderson replied: “He makes a great point and this is exactly my point. So, I invite you personally to come to Ashfield, look at our food bank, how it works and I think you will see first hand that there’s not this massive use for food banks in this country but generation after generation who cannot cook properly, they can’t cook a meal from scratch.

"They cannot budget. The challenge is there. Come, come. I’ll offer anybody.”

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Those comments were condemned by SNP MP Cherry.

She replied: “All of us have food banks in our constituency. We don’t really need to visit his because we’re perfectly well aware of the requirement for them.

“But the requirement for them is not because people don’t know how to cook. It’s because we have poverty in this country at a scale that should shame his government.”

Since 2010, the number of emergency food parcels handed out by Trussell Trust food banks alone has risen from around 40,000 to a record 2.1 million in 2021-22. There are many other food banks in operation outside of that network in the UK.

Anderson’s comments on food banks come just minutes after he called for environmental protesters to be put to work in chain gangs in punishment for aggressive tactics.

Following the exchange, SNP MP Kirsty Blackman said the comments were "reprehensible" and show how "out of touch" the Government is.

"Families are being hammered by a Tory-made cost-of-living crisis and instead of stepping up and delivering urgent support, the Tories are dismissing their hardship with crass comments," she said.

"The reality is that people are being left with no choice but to turn to foodbanks and make the impossible choice between eating and heating because of Tory inaction over the cost-of-living crisis which is spiralling out of control on the UK Government’s watch."