Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Nastiest Front Bench speech ever?

Today the Labour Party managed to get Westminster to debate the shocking rise of food banks in this country, I have been asking via twitter if our own Tory MP, Ben Gummer was going to attend the debate. Not sure if he did but it seemed at times that only 20 Tories (and very few Lib Dems) were sat in the House - but they did get over 200 to turn up for the vote.

But one of the most telling moments of the debate also highlighted how many Tories just wish to ignore the fact that food banks are needed now more than ever. Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) took to his feet to make a very emotional and passionate speech as he attacked the Tory Minister who had replied for the government but then left the House, not wanting or wishing to listen to the debate - a certain Esther McVey, but he also highlighted the lack of Lib Dem MPs present for the debate.

This is part of the speech, Gerald made:

"It is disgraceful that the junior Minister, having made one of the nastiest Front-Bench speeches I have heard in my 43 years in this House, has now sloped off and not bothered to listen to the views of the House.

Last Sunday I attended a carol service at New Covenant church in my constituency, where a leaflet of activities distributed to the congregation read,

“Food bank to alleviate poverty among the unemployed and low income earners.”

The previous Sunday I attended a carol service at St Chrysostom’s, also in my constituency, at which Canon Ian Gomersall always makes an appeal. In previous years it has been about alleviating poverty abroad—helping a Romanian orphanage, for example. Last Sunday he made an appeal for food for hungry people in the area around the church. He said that the prospect was that there would be soup kitchens—soup kitchens in my constituency! He is not political, but he felt that he had to say that to a crowded congregation.

That is the precise policy of this Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government. I note that the only Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Manchester has not even bothered to turn up to this debate. That will be noted by his constituents."

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