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Student Tories slammed for 'appalling' tweet

PUBLISHED: 13:31 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 04 December 2019

Great Yarmouth Labour candidate Mike Smith-Clare has hit back at the UEA Conservative Association’s criticism of using plastic bags to deliver food parcels to families. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare/Archant

Great Yarmouth Labour candidate Mike Smith-Clare has hit back at the UEA Conservative Association's criticism of using plastic bags to deliver food parcels to families. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare/Archant

Mike Smith-Clare/Archant

A Norwich student Conservative association has been attacked for criticising the use of plastic bags in food parcels for families living in a deprived area of the county.

The Conservative Association at the University of East Anglia (UEA) responded on Twitter to a photo of food bags being prepared at a Great Yarmouth school, and said: "I see a lot of plastic, is this some kind of joke to you?"

The account, @UEATories, added: "You know supermarkets can give you small cardboard boxes for free - right?

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"How does worsening the lives of already impoverished communities by not using sensible alternatives make you feel?"

Great Yarmouth Labour candidate Mike Smith-Clare has hit back at the UEA Conservative Association’s criticism of using plastic bags to deliver food parcels to families. Photo: Mike Smith-ClareGreat Yarmouth Labour candidate Mike Smith-Clare has hit back at the UEA Conservative Association’s criticism of using plastic bags to deliver food parcels to families. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

Great Yarmouth Labour Party candidate Mike Smith-Clare, who shared the images of the food bags said: "This is why I'm standing for parliament and why I won't stop until the Tory architects of this misery are removed."

He added: "I see a lot of a hungry children - forced into poverty by Tory misrule. That's no joke - it's a disgrace. How does their suffering make you feel?"

Mr Smith-Clare, who has been a councillor in Great Yarmouth for two years, said the food would be given to children and families at St George's, in Nelson, and North Denes, in North Yarmouth.

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Great Yarmouth Labour candidate Mike Smith-Clare has hit back at the UEA Conservative Association’s criticism of using plastic bags to deliver food parcels to families. Photo: Mike Smith-ClareGreat Yarmouth Labour candidate Mike Smith-Clare has hit back at the UEA Conservative Association’s criticism of using plastic bags to deliver food parcels to families. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

"I'm absolutely shocked by the response," he said. "To denigrate a situation where people are relying on food parcels and food bags, particularly children from primary schools, is just appalling.

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"When people are struggling through poverty and hunger there's something that needs to be done.

"The two schools being supported are in two of the most deprived wards not just in the county but in the country."

"The demand is huge. There were hundreds of bags going out. Some families don't have the resources to cook. Some have just got microwaves.

"We're trying to make sure they have something for the Christmas period just to keep them alive."

UEA Conservative Association was contacted for comment.

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