Fury as Theresa May promotes MP who said people use foodbanks because of their ‘choices’ in life


Now I don’t know about anyone else, but, if a kind, benevolent, caring, philanthropic Tory MP was promoted, then I would be shocked, this attitude of Glen’s and his ilk is totally normal and [sadly] to be expected.

John Glen is now in government despite his “astonishing” comments – and at one point was even lined up as minister for foodbanks



There was anger tonight after Theresa May promoted an MP who said people use foodbanks because of their ‘choices’ in life.

No more than we have come to expect from him and his ilk!

John Glen is now in government despite his “astonishing” comments – and at one point was even lined up as minister for foodbanks.

The government told trade website Civil Society News yesterday that Mr Glen would be minister for civil society, overseeing charities.

But that was later retracted and he was confirmed as minister for heritage, arts and tourism, part of the same department.

Even so, Mr Glen has come under fire for remarks blaming foodbank use on “the chaotic nature of lives of some people.”

And his promotion comes days after fellow Tory MP Dominic Raab – who blamed “cash flow problems” for foodbank use and said claimants were not “languishing in poverty” – was promoted to a job in the Ministry of Justice.

Foodbank use has rocketed over the last few years as austerity cuts bite (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

In a 2011 interview with Channel 4 News, Mr Glen suggested only those with “three or four children” had to beg for handouts adding: “There is a choice there”.

He said: “I believe that everyone who’s working will have enough food if they don’t spend money on other things.

“There is a choice there, that if you spend money on food to start off with.

“If you earn anything or you have the minimum wage, you will have some money for food. The question is what other things the money is being spent on.”

Pressed on his remarks at the time he said: “There is a group of people who aren’t getting the hours, hours have been cut, they’ve maybe got three or four children and things are very very tight.

“But I don’t think that is something that is an ongoing issue that people are living on the foodbank all the time.”

Since Mr Glen’s interview foodbank use has exploded as Tory cuts bite.

The Trussell Trust, who operate food banks throughout the UK, handed out 128,697 three-day emergency food packages in 2011/12.

In 2016-17 that figure had risen to 1,182,954.

Deputy Labour leader and shadow culture secretary Tom Watson said the comments were “astonishing and insensitive.”

He added: “Working families use foodbanks out of desperation, not choice, but this weak Conservative Government continually refuses to take any responsibility for the impact of their policies”

A source at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) insisted it had just been “speculation” that Mr Glen was getting the civil society brief – which is held instead by Tracey Crouch.

The source claimed the decision of what job to give Mr Glen was only made today.

That insistence came despite Mr Glen tweeting himself yesterday at 7pm: “Excellent busy first day as Minister for the Arts, Heritage and Tourism.”

With Theresa May thrashing out a deal with the anti-gay-marriage DUP , Mr Glen has also come under fire for his record defending the controversial charity Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE).

CARE helped fund a £50-a-head ‘gay cure’ conference in 2009 that discussed “therapeutic approaches to same-sex attraction”.

CARE insists it has never advocated for “gay cure”, the issue is not one it campaigns on and co-sponsoring the event did not indicate support for gay cure.

But the group says marriage is “between one man and one woman” and campaigned against “redefining” it when David Cameron introduced same-sex unions in 2013.

In 2012 Mr Glen was quoted as saying: “We’re not going to be bullied into giving up links with an organisation that does a great deal of good on the basis of a smear campaign.”

Shadow culture minister Steve Reed told PinkNews Mr Glen’s comments were “shocking” adding: “John Glen must immediately disassociate himself from this offensive slur.”

The DCMS declined to comment on either of Mr Glen’s past remarks.


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