Theresa May has announced her new Brexit secretary, and these comments show why we should all be worried

New Brexit-secretary Dominic Raab
Support us and go ad-free

Theresa May has confirmed that former housing minister Dominic Raab will be taking over as Brexit secretary. But not everyone is celebrating the appointment.

Controversy

Raab, who steps into David Davis’s position after his resignation, has a history of troubling comments.

In 2017, the MP for Esher and Walton incurred a massive backlash after appearing to play down the seriousness of food bank use.

On an episode of the BBC‘s Victoria Derbyshire show, Raab claimed the rising use of food banks was not down to poverty. Responding to a question from the audience, he said:

Look, in terms of the food bank issue, I’ve studied the Trussell Trust data.

What they tend to find is the typical user of a food bank is not someone who’s languishing in poverty, it’s someone who has a cashflow problem episodically.

Raab doubled down on his comments, claiming he was simply presenting the Trussell Trust data.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Backlash

On the show, there were immediate boos and jeers from the audience. But the backlash to Raab’s views did not stop there.

A spokesperson for the Trussell Trust rubbished the claims. They said the main reasons for food bank referral are “delays and changes to benefit payments”, as well as “low income issues”.

Hugh McNeill, manager of Coventry Foodbank, wrote in response to Raab’s comments:

If you do not have enough money to build up savings to fall back on, to create a financial buffer for when something unexpected such as redundancy or sickness hits or a benefit payment is delayed, then you are a lot more likely to fall into a sudden crisis which leaves you unable to afford food. That isn’t a cashflow problem. It’s a symptom of a structural issue that needs addressing.

His political opponents also attacked the claims. Liberal Democrat Tim Farron claimed the comments were “stupid and deeply offensive”.

“Childish wish list”

Raab followed the foodbank comments with arguably an even more controversial outburst on the very same programme. The MP told a disability activist that reversing cuts on the most vulnerable people in society was just a “childish wish list”.

The harrowing response came after an emotional question from disability activist Fiona, who said the 2017 election was a matter of “life and death”.

You can watch the exchange below:

Brexit secretary

The reaction to Raab’s appointment has been mixed at best for Theresa May. She now faces more pressure than ever, and the Brexit end-game still looks no clearer than it has at any point over the past two years. Appointing someone who doesn’t even understand that poverty drives food-bank use is not the most encouraging sign.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured Image via Ministry of Housing/Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop

 

The Canary Fund us

Comments are closed