Lee Anderson Accused Of Using Staff As 'Political Football' In Food Bank Row

The Conservative MP posted about a staff member's financial situation.
Lee Anderson MP and his tweet
Lee Anderson MP and his tweet
Parliament / Lee Anderson Twitter

Tory MP Lee Anderson has been accused of using a member of staff as a “political football” after he tweeted about her financial situation.

The MP for Ashfield shared a photograph of a woman in his office called Katy to make a point about food bank use in Britain.

He wrote: “Katy works for me. 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. Katy makes my point really well.”

The comment prompted fierce criticism from other MPs including Lib Dem Jamie Stone who said: “I have never, and would never, use my staff as a political football.

“This is in seriously bad taste and is an awful way to admit that you don’t pay your staff enough.”

Other social media users tore into the Tory MP, including one who said: “She doesn’t make your point really well at all, because she’s single and childless, and can therefore rent a room rather than a family property, presumably shares utility bills with housemates, and hasn’t got to feed and clothe a family or pay for childcare.”

Another simply said: “Katy should probably be paid more.”

Anderson is a former coal miner who was a Labour councillor in Ashfield before he defected to the Conservative Party in 2018 and went on to serve as a Tory councillor in Mansfield.

He was voted backbencher of the year in a poll by influential political website Conservative Home.

The website described him as having “blunt views” on Brexit, travellers and poverty.

Despite his comments about budgeting, earlier this year it emerged Anderson claimed £15,823.44 more than the average MP in business expenses.

Anderson claimed £219,703.44 in business costs from 2020 to 2021, according to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority [IPSA].

This compared to the average of £203,880 claimed by MPs for their office, staffing, accommodation, travel and subsistence.

Anderson said subsequently that the high business costs he claimed last year were to “pay my staff wages”.

He told TalkTV: “That’s to pay my staff wages. If I didn’t pay my staff any wages, they would be using a food bank.”


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