Tories have relentlessly attacked a single mum who was forced to use food banks [VIDEO, TWEETS]

Thompson on Question Time
Support us and go ad-free

On 14 December, Samantha Thompson asked a poignant question about food banks on BBC Question Time. Conservative MP Nicky Morgan’s response was, as The Canary previously reported, far from satisfactory. But since then, Thompson – a single mother of three – has been widely criticised online by a Conservative councillor and right-wing groups.

“Struggled”

Thompson was very clear on Question Time that she “had” been someone who struggled and “had” used food banks in the past. She explained:

I’ve worked all my life and suddenly I became ill.

At no point did she say that she still used food banks. But the response that followed on social media did not take these facts into account.

“Breakdown”

Speaking exclusively to The Canary, Thompson said she lost her business following a “breakdown”. And she was referred to a food bank in August 2016. She said:

I just remember crying in the job centre. And then someone gave me food bank vouchers. When we got to the food bank… I just thought ‘how have I actually got here?’

A study by the Trussell Trust found that: “Mental health conditions affected people in 1/3 of households” referred to food banks.

And they said…

Graham Galpin is a Conservative councillor in Ashford, Kent. Shortly after Question Time aired, he tweeted:

https://twitter.com/Graham_Galpin/status/941453896366608384

And he said:

Galpin had “no comment” when approached by The Canary. In a statement sent to the BBC, Galpin said: “The comment wasn’t targeted at any particular individual – if she feels it was, then I apologise unreservedly.”

Thompson disagrees and told The Canary:

How stupid do they think we are? He’s twisted that round and tried to worm his way out.

Activate

Activate UK, a “grassroots” organisation for “young conservatives”, also sourced photographs and online reviews posted by Thompson. And it said:

https://twitter.com/ActivateBritain/status/943084340958900224

But the ‘evidence’ it used was posted after Thompson actually used food banks. Despite this, the group continued:

https://twitter.com/ActivateBritain/status/943082297846353920

Thompson has since received harassment and abuse on social media. Activate told The Canary:

We condemn any abuse or attacks of a personal nature and encourage all our followers across the spectrum to keep any political discourse mature and polite, this being said that does not absolve someone from receiving an appropriate level of scrutiny when they enter the political arena.

Scrutiny?

Thompson spoke out, drawing from past experience, for the thousands forced to use food banks. The tweets slamming Thompson were then picked up and spread further, and presented as ‘news‘.

This Christmas, “record numbers of children” will eat from food banks. And as this film from The Canary shows, the reality of using food banks is harsh.

Despicable

Thompson has been publicly accused of lying. And her physical appearance has been ‘debated’ by strangers. She told The Canary this caused “panic attacks”.

Use of food banks has soared under this government. And now, the people using them are being abused. It’s time to get the Tories out and time to end austerity.

Get Involved!

Demand an end to austerity.

Find your local food bank.

Featured image via screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed