Labour MP uses pet dog to mock Tory MP after 'unacceptable' tweet sparks backlash

A Labour MP mocked her Conservative colleague over his 'beyond inappropriate' Tweet about a member of staff (HoP/Instagram)
A Labour MP mocked her Conservative colleague over his 'beyond inappropriate' Tweet about a member of staff (HoP/Instagram)

A Labour MP has mocked a Tory colleague after he posted a "beyond inappropriate" tweet about a member of staff.

Lee Anderson, Tory MP for Ashfield, sparked backlash after he said people earning more than £30,000 "must have a budgeting problem" if they rely on food banks.

His remarks were in response to Thursday's Daily Mirror front page, which criticised former levelling-up minister Simon Clarke, who claimed nurses using food banks needed to budget better.

"I have constituents i.e armed forces, bin men, bar staff, care workers, bus drivers, pensioners etc who can all live on less. Am I missing something?" said Anderson on social media.

He then posted another tweet of a photo of a female member of his staff and an attempt to further justify his argument.

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"She is single and earns less than £30k, rents a room for £775pcm in Central London, has student debt, £120 a month on travelling to work saves money every month, goes on foreign holidays and does not need to use a food bank," he said.

Yahoo News UK has decided not to share the image or the name of the individual.

His remarks have sparked backlash from other MPs, with Labour MP for Cardiff North Anna McMorrin posting a parody of the tweet with a picture of her dog.

"This is Cadi," she said.

"She works for me. She is single, earns less than 30k, shares a home with me and two cats, no student debt, and goes on holiday (as long as it’s dog friendly).

"She is fed by me twice a day. Cadi makes my point really well."

Elsewhere, senior Labour MP for Brent Dawn Butler said she had lodged a complaint over Anderson's behaviour, accusing him of bullying.

"This is a form of bullying and harassment," said Butler.

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"Whether [removed] agreed to this, it is unacceptable to use a young female employee this way.

"I have also complained to the independent complaints in parliament which states.

"Bullying = behaviour involving an abuse or misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, undermined, humiliated, denigrated or threatened."

Anderson later posted a photo on his tweet which appeared to suggest he was taking a step back from Twitter, reading: "Taking a break!"

It comes on the same day the New Statesman revealed Anderson is in the top ten for office turnover of staff.

The MP with the highest staff turnover is Claudia Webbe, who was suspended from the Labour party after being found guilty of the harassment of a woman.

Anderson's remarks came after a new survey by NHS Charities Together and the Observer found half of NHS trusts in the UK are now providing or planning food banks for staff.

Watch: Tory MP says there’s no ‘massive use’ for food banks as users ‘can’t cook or budget’