Jacob Rees-Mogg has said the growing use of food banks in the UK is “rather uplifting”.
The Tory MP insisted that rather than demonstrating the scale of poverty in the country, the development showed what a “good compassionate country we are”.
Speaking to LBC radio Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I don’t think the state can do everything that it tries.
“It provides a basic level of welfare … but on some occasions that will not work and to have charitable support given by people voluntarily to support their fellow citizens I think is rather uplifting and shows what a good compassionate country we are.”
Food bank use is on the rise, with data from the Trussell Trust indicating the country’s food banks provided more than a million emergency food supplies to people last year.
Mr Rees-Mogg attributed the rise to the fact that people now “know they are there”.
He said: “The real reason for the rise in numbers is because people know they are there and Labour refused to tell them.”
Last week, Mr Rees-Mogg was heavily criticised for saying he was against abortion even in cases of rape.
The devout Catholic, who is one of the richest MPs in Parliament, said “life begins at the point of conception”.
A poll of Conservative Party members this month showed he had more support than any other candidate to replace Theresa May as leader.
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