Here’s one of the most ‘disgraceful’ Tory moments of the election so far

Broxtowe Hustings
Brian Finlay

On 6 December, Tory candidate Darren Henry, standing in the Broxtowe constituency in Nottinghamshire, shocked his hustings audience. He posed a “disgraceful” solution for families relying on foodbanks. Owen Jones shared a video on Twitter of Henry’s ignorant claims:

 

While listening to Henry’s contribution, this was Labour Party candidate Greg Marshall’s reaction:

We are all Greg Marshall.

The Tory solution to foodbanks

Henry told local voters:

When they go down to the foodbank, what they struggle with is maybe being able to manage their budget… A thing that can help them is how we can offer them some advice and support. When people are really, really down, and when people haven’t got the money, one of the things they can look to do is to get a payday loan or something like that.

But the audience members heckled Henry – labelling his comments “a disgrace”.

Other Tory politicians have also previously suggested foodbank usage is linked to bad budgeting. As reported by the Guardian in 2017, now foreign secretary Dominic Raab suggested foodbank users occasionally have a “cashflow problem”. But the Trussell Trust disagrees.

In fact, it links the increase of people relying on foodbanks directly to Conservative welfare policy. So instead of suggesting vulnerable people use high-interest payday loans to access food, the Tories should scrap the punitive Universal Credit programme. As data from 2016/17 shows, 30% of children were living in poverty – that’s 4.1 million children. But Labour will scrap the notorious Universal Credit.

Twitter reaction

Twitter users have rightly reacted with disgust to Henry’s comments.

One user said these comments show the Tories “contempt” for the vulnerable people and the working class:

Another said Henry’s comments invoked “discrimination of the worst kind”:

And another feels Marshall is an “MP-in-waiting”:

The Green Party candidate for Broxtowe Katharina Boettge reacted:

While two Twitter users discussed the reaction of both the Labour and Green candidates:

But Labour could win here…

In reaction to Henry’s comments, Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said:

The Conservatives have no answers to the poverty they have caused in our communities….

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 food bank Britain and bring about real change.

In 2017, the Broxtowe seat was held by then Conservative MP Anna Soubry with a small majority. After leaving the Tories to join what became The Independent Group for Change, Soubry’s contesting the seat in the upcoming general election potentially splitting the Tory vote. With just 863 votes between the Tories and Labour in 2017 – this seat could be a Labour gain.

So let’s hope Labour wins Broxtowe on the 12 December. Keeping Henry’s ‘opinion’ out of Westminster is vital. And this will also help form a Labour government and rid the UK of Universal Credit along with the blatant ignorance of the Tories on poverty issues. We can do this.

Featured image via Owen Jones/Twitter

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  • Show Comments
    1. Darren Henry’s utterances display deeper malaise than their content suggests.

      Henry is entitled to express his opinion and the electorate is free to reject him and all else he stands for. Perhaps it is as well that he did so.

      More deeply worrying is what this says about the quality of candidates being put forth. Henry, just like his party’s leader, shows no insight. He lacks understanding of sensitivities among the electorate; this being particularly damaging when standing in a marginal seat and facing prospect of the Conservative vote splitting between him and the constituency’s erstwhile Conservative MP.

      There are topics within his party’s official manifesto he could have developed in response to a question about food banks. For, instance the party’s claim that living standards for everyone will be raised, from which may be deduced food banks will no longer be necessary. Instead the silly man chose to vilify users of food banks. Thus it is not merely his repellent views on this matter that ought disqualify him from the Commons but also his demonstration of being non-too-bright and incapable of examining issues in broad context.

      The only factor in his favour is that if elected he would be an unquestioning foot soldier at the bidding of his odious leader. Thus he’s a ‘good’ Conservative and if that’s what people want desire, sadly, so be it.

    2. The Tory candidate doesn’t have any reason. You know the kind of reason the civilised seek to have. He blames the victim as if this victim has a job, and can easily afford the payday loan exhoribant interest rates.
      The path to hell he recommends for one without a job, supporting a family as well, and seeking some food to eat.
      Starving to death doesn’t mean he will be fit for working?
      This Tory candidate has a simple brain which has been supplanted by an ideology.
      Proving itself if one is loyal to never giving up on carrying it through to a satisfactory end.
      No learning curve to find an improvement in citizens lives I’ve seen so far.
      Perhaps this ideology is just about money which doesn’t really include anyone.
      For robots.
      Hard to understand exactly what this mean ideology has going for it.
      Its never really spoken about in a booklet, except by comments like Mr.Darren Henry to gather what this ideology is grounded upon, yet goes about quietly , and smug about its rightness.
      Very unsocial for a democracy.
      A bizarre sign in the politic of coming troubles I’d say no matter how you look at it.
      I mean this candidate man is well dressed , well fed with a good education and is an idiot. You have to wonder at a deeper level what is going on, that he has no real brain.

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