James O'Brien tears apart 'con artist' Tory MP Lee Anderson in scathing attack

12 May 2022, 13:07 | Updated: 12 May 2022, 13:46

James O'Brien has branded Tory MP Lee Anderson a "con artist" and a "poster boy for Boris Johnson's Brexit Britain".
James O'Brien has branded Tory MP Lee Anderson a "con artist" and a "poster boy for Boris Johnson's Brexit Britain". Picture: Parliament TV/LBC

By Sam Sholli

James O'Brien has branded Tory MP Lee Anderson a "con artist" and a "poster boy for Boris Johnson's Brexit Britain".

Lee Anderson argued there is no massive need for food banks in the UK and claimed that "generation after generation" cannot "cook properly", during a debate yesterday in the House of Commons.

Mr Anderson, MP for Ashfield, claimed households in Britain can make "nutritious meals" on a budget of "about 30p a day".

During the Queen's speech debate on Wednesday, the Conservative MP said his constituency operated a "brilliant scheme" where residents accepting food donations had to register and attend budget cookery courses.

He said: "We show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget. We can make a meal for about 30p a day, and this is cooking from scratch."

Food campaigner Jack Monroe has taken aim at the Tory MP, telling LBC's Eddie Mair: "It's not a lack of skills or knowledge that is causing people to struggle in food poverty in this country...it's the lack of resources, it's the lack of finances."

Reflecting on controversies involving Lee Anderson, James recounted how the Tory MP vowed to boycott the England football team's games in the European Championship over the players taking the knee before matches.

Referring the Tory MP's stance at the time, James said: "That's disgusting, right."

James also brought up the time when caught out setting up a door knock while canvassing in Nottinghamshire when he was a Tory MP candidate for Ashfield in 2019. Mr Anderson went on to get elected as the MP for Ashfield in the 2019 election.

James said of the incident: "I don't know what word you would use to describe that behaviour, but there was a time of course when it would perhaps have ended a political career before it had barely begun.

"It certainly would have ended campaigns and newspapers would have been in uproar, but it's hard to believe in 2019 nothing mattered of course - except the dreaded B-word.

Mr Anderson used to be a member of the Labour Party and used to work for Gloria de Piero when she was a Labour MP. He was also a Labour councillor until 2018.

James added: "So I see him in a way as the embodiment of those votes that swung the last election - people who had perviously been loyal to the Labour Party but who have now completely changed their loyalties - in his case having gone from a party that routinely defends the poor to becoming a man that essentially attacks them."

James later said: "How do you go from being a Labour Party worker in 2018 to standing up in the House of. Commons to insult people using food banks in 2022?"

James branded Lee Anderson is a "con artist who sets up interviews on the doorstep of voters' house under completely false and fraudulent pretences", before calling him a "poster boy for Boris Johnson's Brexit Britain".

He went on to also say: "The country needs food banks. It's an absolute tragedy. It's a shameful phenomenon. It's a disgrace that we do need them."

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