A CONTROVERSIAL Boris Johnson loyalist who sparked outrage with comments on food bank users has withdrawn his support for the Prime Minister, saying “integrity has not come first” over the past few days.

Tory MP Lee Anderson, who claimed struggling families should learn how to cook and survive on 30p meals a day, said his position had changed over the last few days due to the Government's handling of the situation with former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.

Anderson, who was elected in 2019 for the Red Wall seat of Ashfield and previously claimed there was a “witch-hunt” against Johnson, questioned the Prime Minister’s integrity in a statement posted on Facebook.

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“I have remained loyal to the Prime Minister since being elected in 2019,” he said.

“However my position has changed over the past few days since the incident which led to the deputy chief whip (Chris Pincher) losing the party whip.”

He said giving Pincher the job, having been told about earlier inappropriate behaviour, was “not a good appointment” by Johnson.

He also highlighted the initial denial that the Prime Minister had been told about earlier allegations and then the change in the Government’s position to state that Johnson simply forgot.

“I cannot look myself in the mirror and accept this. It is my belief that our PM has got all the big decisions right and guided us through the most difficult time in my life time and I have always backed him to the hilt,” he added.

“That said integrity should always come first and sadly this has not been the case over the past few days.”

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Anderson said he could only make his feelings known to constituents and party members, as he did not hold a position he can resign from.

He added: “I will do all I can to make sure our party wins the next election to form a Government of low taxation and who will be tough on illegal immigration as I feel we could have done better, that said the thought of a Labour Government terrifies me so please keep the faith.”

Anderson sparked disbelief in May after claiming there is not “this massive use for food banks” in the UK, but “generation after generation who cannot cook properly” and “cannot budget”.

A month later, he defended Johnson in an interview after a BBC journalist described the Prime Minister as a “man who’s lied to the Queen, lied to the public and lied to the House of Commons”.

The Tory MP replied:  “What people are seeing is a witch hunt led by the BBC, led by the Labour Party.”