A TORY minister has been severely criticised after announcing plans to use the proceeds from a book about making Britain “greater” to open food pantries.

Penny Mordaunt, the Leader of the House of Commons under Liz Truss and now Rishi Sunak, said she would be opening new food pantries in a video on social media promoting her new book, “Greater: Britain After the Storm”.

Alongside images of the front cover and herself at book signings (shown below), the Tory MP for Portsmouth North said she wanted “every ward” in her constituency to have a food pantry.

The National:

She said: “Food pantries are a great scheme that can help families reduce their food bills by about £800 a year.

“They are not food banks where you need to be referred in, they are open to everyone and for a few pounds a week you can get a decent shop, utilising donated food or food that would otherwise be going to waste.”

Scottish Employment Minister Richard Lochhead said Mordaunt was "utterly shameless".

Maggie Chapman, the Scottish Green MSP, said Mordaunt's announcement was a "sickening indictment of Tory failure and shows a shocking lack of insight".

She went on: "The number of food banks and pantries we have today shows the stark and grim reality of the supposedly greater Britain that Penny Mordaunt has helped to build.

"Nobody should have to go hungry or wonder where their next meal is coming from. The UK is one of the wealthiest societies that there has ever been, yet, due to 12 years of misrule by Penny Mordaunt and her Cabinet colleagues, the super-rich have got far richer while millions of people have been plunged into food poverty.

"It's not book royalties that are needed to tackle the cost crisis, it is real and substantial policy changes."

The University of Birmingham’s Professor Alice Roberts wrote on Twitter: “This is not just any food bank, it’s a Make-Britain-Great-Again food bank. Sorry, pantry.

“And a great vehicle for advertising a book, too!”

Mordaunt’s book, Greater: Britain After the Storm, came out in May 2021 and was co-authored with Chris Lewis, a multimillionaire PR agency boss who backed her in the Tory leadership race over the summer.

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On Amazon, the book’s description states: “A wave of scandals has corroded public confidence in leadership in all walks of life, fuelled by a hyper-individualistic social media landscape – but by rebuilding public trust we can restore national pride and positive, competent politics.”

It says the book “describes the role of social media in culture wars and calls for a relentless focus on aspiration and a social enterprise revolution. Above all, it reminds us of the many reasons we have to be optimistic”.

According to a report in the Guardian from July: “The book contains a Trainspotting-esque list setting out their joint pitch for why modern Britain is better than the UK of the 70s over several pages, including: ‘No borstal. No body odour. No accusations of wearing poof juice (aftershave). No male cosmetics of any kind. No bath once a week whether you need it or not. No snotty sleeves. No skid marks. No priapic priests. No Catholic guilt. No ‘fallen women’. No ‘Loony Bin’. No rhythm method. No Kotex Wonderform menstruation belts. No circle-stitched bras. No imminent threat of nuclear deaths. No Black Panther. No Moors murderers. No Yorkshire Ripper. No Ruth Ellis. No Reg Christie. No Timothy Evans. No ‘he slipped on the way to the cell, sarge’. No Kray twins. No bent coppers. No Bakelite handles. No ‘I can’t speak now the pips have gone’. No 405- or 625-line TVs.’”

Mordaunt lost out to Sunak and Truss in the first Tory leadership race, run over the summer to choose a replacement for Boris Johnson. She came in third.

After Truss's short but disastrous time in office, she again bid to become prime minister, but did not manage to get the support of 100 MPs to take Sunak to a vote of party members.