Tory election candidate says food bank users ‘struggle to manage their budget’

Conservative candidate Darren Henry told a Broxtowe hustings that food bank users should consider us

Conservative candidate Darren Henry told a Broxtowe hustings that food bank users should consider using payday loans. Picture: Darren Henry/Conservatives - Credit: Darren Henry/Conservatives

A Conservative general election candidate was greeted with cries of 'disgrace!' after he said that food bank users struggle at 'managing their budget'.

Tory candidate Darren Henry said at a hustings in Broxtowe on Friday: "It's about having budgeting for when they go down to the food bank.

"What they struggle with is maybe being able to manage their budget."

Momentarily drowned out by outrage from the voters gathered in Beeston Parish Church, he continued: "And a thing that can help them is how we offer them some advice and support.

"And when people are really, really down, when people haven't got the money, one thing they are able to do is get a payday loan or something like that."

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The Nottingham Post reported him as adding: "If I'm in parliament, as a private member's bill one of the things I'd like to do is to try and stop payday loan advertising because that just makes the whole problem worse."

Payday loans are considered to be a predatory form of lending due to the high interest rates and frequently hidden terms and conditions attached.

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The video was posted to social media by writer Harry Patterson, who said in a tweet: "Got hungry kids? *your* fault for not managing your paltry budget properly, say's Broxtowe's Tory candidate Darren Henry.

Henry is standing against former Tory and current Change UK - Independent Group leader Anna Soubry in a constituency that voted 52.5% to Leave.

Soubry left the Conservatives in early 2019 out of concern for the government's handling of Brexit, and is a proponent of a second referendum.

In the 2017 election, she took the seat as a Conservative with a narrow margin of just 863 more votes than Labour's Greg Marshall, who is standing again in this general election.

Social media reports, including from Soubry herself, also claim that Labour supporters within the crowd also booed and heckled Soubry when she brought up concerns about anti-Semitism within the party.

"How can moderate Labour members & voters in all conscience continue to support Corbyn especially in seats like Broxtowe where there is a genuine alternative?" asked Soubry in a tweet.

Broxtowe Labour's Twitter account responded to the charge saying: "We were the first down Beeston High Street pushing back at the far right ideology of the BNP & it will be the Labour Party who are there doing the same every time."

Following the furore over Henry's comments on food bank users, Labour party chair Ian Lavery said: "The Conservatives have no answers to the poverty they have caused in our communities.

"It shows how out of touch the Tories are that they think the way to tackle the surge in foodbank use is to stop adverts for payday loan companies.

"There is a clear choice at this election: five more years of poverty, inequality and homelessness under the Tories, or a Labour government that will end foodbank Britain and bring about real change."

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