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LONDON – The rise of food banks across the UK is actually “rather uplifting” because it shows the British people are charitable, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said this morning.
Last year the Trussell Trust network of food banks provided 1,182,954 emergency food supplies to people in the UK, the highest level ever recorded.
However, Rees-Mogg, who is the current favourite among Conservative members to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, told LBC radio that the surge in food banks showed “what a good compassionate country we are.”
“I don’t think the state can do everything that it tries,” he said.
“It provides a basic level of welfare… but on some occasions that will not work and to have charitable support given by people voluntarily to support their fellow citizens I think is rather uplifting and shows what a good compassionate country we are.”
Pushed by a caller to the Nick Ferrari show on why the UK has seen a huge rise in the numbers of people seeking support at food banks under a Conservative government, the Tory MP said it was because people now “know they are there.”
“The real reason for the rise in numbers is because people know they are there and Labour refused to tell them.”
Rees-Mogg is one of the wealthiest MPs in Parliament. He has reportedly made millions of pounds in high finance and is due to inherit £100 million from his family estate. However, a recent profile of the MP reported that he once publicly complained about the size of a seven figure bonus he received.
He hit the headlines in recent weeks due to a surge in support from grassroots Conservative members, as well as controversial comments he made about gay marriage and abortion.
The MP for North East Somerset said that he was opposed to the right to abortion in all circumstances, even when the woman involved had been raped.