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Labour councillors hit out at Conservative MP for ‘posing’ by food bank supplies

PUBLISHED: 12:52 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 12 May 2020

Danny Douglas from Norfolk Labour. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

Danny Douglas from Norfolk Labour. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

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Norfolk’s Labour councillors have hit out at Great Yarmouth’s Conservative MP for “posing” next to foodbank supplies collected as part of a donation initiative.

Labour councillors taking their supplies into Great Yarmouth Town Hall. Photo: Mike Smith-ClareLabour councillors taking their supplies into Great Yarmouth Town Hall. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

The ‘Food Out Friday’ scheme involves Labour councillors from across the county dishing out weekly food supplies to community foodbanks and town halls.

Many have been using their unwanted expenses to buy supplies which are then delivered to County Hall in Norwich every Friday ready for district councillors to pick up and distribute locally.

On May 1, Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis shared pictures taken with some of the food at Great Yarmouth’s Town Hall, praising Great Yarmouth Borough Council for its work at the same time.

But the Labour group at Norfolk County Council was not impressed with the way Mr Lewis “posed” with its food bank donations.

In a Facebook post, the Labour group said: “The irony that that freezer was full of frozen bread delivered by Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and Norwich Labour councillors in our ‘Food Out Friday’ scheme would be lost on him - all the more so because they were the same councillors he was very disparaging about for going to Great Yarmouth to support the campaign against the closure of children’s centres.”

In response, Mr Lewis said: “It is frankly incredible that during a time of national crisis, Labour councillors have the time to take cheap political shots.

“As the Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth, I recently visited the council to thank the team for all of its work during this incredibly difficult time, and discuss the support the borough requires.

“As part of this, I saw first-hand some of the work being conducted to support vulnerable people in Great Yarmouth, which has included managing donations from a huge number of organisations. Everyone who has done so deserves thanks.”

He added: “Now is the time to come together and not take part in petty political games. Great Yarmouth and the United Kingdom deserves better than that.”

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Mike Smith-Clare said: “This isn’t about politics, or staged photo opportunities, it’s just good old fashioned roll your sleeves up and get-stuck-in teamwork.

“Of course, to avoid any accusations of political posturing, I’d be more than happy for our local MP to join in and help us - I’ll even make sure that there’s a ‘Food Out Friday’ t-shirt waiting for him.”

Norfolk Labour taking their supplies into Great Yarmouth Town Hall. Photo: Mike Smith-ClareNorfolk Labour taking their supplies into Great Yarmouth Town Hall. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

Norfolk Labour taking their supplies into Great Yarmouth Town Hall. Photo: Mike Smith-ClareNorfolk Labour taking their supplies into Great Yarmouth Town Hall. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

Great Yarmouth councillor Mike Smith-Clare on one of his weekly food runs. Photo: Mike Smith-ClareGreat Yarmouth councillor Mike Smith-Clare on one of his weekly food runs. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare


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