GORDON Brown has been slated for proposing to expand his “sticking plaster” Multibank initiative across the UK as Labour look likely to form the next government.

The former prime minister set up the first Multibank model when he launched The Big House in Fife in 2022 with Amazon and local charity The Cottage Family Centre.

The initiative combines a food bank with a "bank" that provides other essentials such as bedding and furnishings and a similar project was set up in Wigan last year.

But Brown did not receive a warm reception on social media after he spoke to Sky News’ Kay Burley about wanting to extend the Multibank to other areas of the UK.

He said in an interview: “You’ve heard of food banks, but what about a food bank, a bedding bank, a furnishings bank, a hygiene bank, a baby bank, all rolled into one so you can meet the holistic needs of families who are in difficulty?

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“That’s what we created first of all in Scotland, in Fife […] and now we have one led by people locally in Wigan.

“You’ve got local charities who are co-ordinating this, they get a warehouse, they get goods from companies that are surplus or unwanted or in some cases they buy some of the goods and through a referral system, you get the goods to the people who need them.

“What we’re finding is, while there is some provision for food with foodbanks, people don’t have bedding to keep themselves warm like duvets, they can’t afford their toiletries. They fall through the net.

“We want to expand it to the whole of the United Kingdom.”

The ex-PM’s idea was branded a “sticking plaster” and concern was expressed over the policy amid Labour looking ever more likely to form the next UK Government.

He was criticised for seemingly celebrating the idea of having more donation hubs for people who are struggling financially, instead of tackling the heart of the issue.

One user on Twitter/X posted: “If he really cared, he’d be calling upon Starmer to bring about genuine change for those affected by poverty, instead of just applying a metaphorical sticking plaster to a gaping societal wound.”

Mary Whitby added that he should be “ashamed” and suggested Brown should be demanding a Labour government “provide services so people can live safe, healthy lives”.

Alan McMahon, an engineer from Bathgate, shared the interview and said: “Who’d have thought when Labour firebrand Gordon Brown first came on the scene in the 70s he’d finish his days enthusiastically ‘improving’ food banks and talking about the ‘holistics’ of destitution?”

User @EfanIfor also posted on Twitter/X: “What a perverse joke.

“How about we have a fair and equitable society where wealth is distributed across society and not hoarded by a very few.”

In November, Brown joined forces with Comic Relief to launch an appeal to groups including big businesses to help the “growing needs” of families experiencing poverty.

He said he would invite socially responsible firms and philanthropic foundations to join together in a “coalition of compassion” and donate goods and money to Multibank.