Tory candidate in tomorrow’s Tamworth by-election once suggested families using food banks should ‘f*** off’ if they could afford TVs and phones
- Andrew Cooper is standing in Chris Pincher’s old seat in Tamworth, Staffordshire
A Tory candidate standing in the forthcoming by-election once suggested that families using food banks should ‘f*** off’ if they could afford TVs and phones.
Andrew Cooper is standing for the Conservatives in Tamworth, Staffordshire, as voters go to the polls tomorrow after previous MP Chris Pincher was forced to quit after a sleaze scandal.
In an insensitive Facebook post in October 2020, Mr Cooper appeared to question whether people needed to use food banks.
He posted a diagram that he’d drawn on a piece of paper, and asked: ‘Can you feed your kids?’, The Mirror reported.
The crudely drawn flow-chart suggested that those who have subscriptions for TV packages such as Sky or BT should ‘f*** off’.
Andrew Cooper is standing for the Conservatives in Tamworth, Staffordshire, as voters go to the polls tomorrow after previous MP Chris Pincher was forced to quit after a sleaze scandal
The crudely drawn flow-chart suggested that those who have subscriptions for TV packages such as Sky or BT should ‘f*** off’
In following Mr Cooper’s flow chart, anyone who answers yes to whether they pay for a £30-a-month mobile phone contract or get their nails done would also receive the same answer.
READ MORE: Tories accused of wasting police time after reporting Labour for alleged electoral law infringement because by-election candidate doesn’t live locally as Starmer’s party claimed
The diagram also suggests that parents who may not spend money on any of these but are currently out of work should also ‘f*** off’.
The Conservative candidate defended his social media post, after telling the BBC he felt there were too many unemployed people on benefits.
Mr Cooper told the BBC that there needed to be better incentives to get people into work.
He said: ‘Both the prime minister and chancellor have spoken about the need to get people off welfare and into jobs’.
Mr Cooper had posted his hand-drawn diagram on social media during a difficult time when people were struggling to find work as a result of the pandemic.
After users dug out the old post from social media, his partner Elizabeth Austin hit back by saying: ‘How desperate are you getting now? Pulling out a post from three years ago.’
Labour MP Stephanie Peacock, who is leading the party’s by-election campaign in Tamworth, said: ‘The Tories have overseen 13 years of next to no growth, before crashing the economy.
‘The result is a third of children in Tamworth are growing up in poverty and two-thirds of them are in working families.
‘It shows a complete lack of understanding of the challenges facing families in Tamworth that the Conservative candidate is telling parents who are struggling to make ends meet to ‘f*** off’.
MailOnline has approached Mr Cooper for comment.
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