Tory candidate says she is 'really pleased' there are food banks

Sheryll Murray was heckled by the audience after she said food banks were good for people on benefits

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 05 June 2017 22:45
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Conservative candidate in Cornwall 'pleased' there are food banks

Footage has emerged of a Conservative parliamentary candidate in one of the poorest parts of the country saying she was “pleased” there were food banks in the area.

Sheryll Murray, who is campaigning for election in south east Cornwall, was speaking at an event on Saturday when she provoked outrage from the audience when she said she was glad food banks existed as a safety net for people on benefits.

She said: “If for instance somebody had moved house, or if their financial situation had changed while they're going through the reassessment and their benefits are delayed, then sometimes they need to call upon the food banks.

“But I am really pleased we have food banks in south east Cornwall.”

This provoked outrage from the audience with some standing up and shouting “we’re human” and “how dare you” at her.

One disabled woman stood up and shouted that she was being “very rude” after Ms Murray told other members of the audience to ignore the protests.

Ms Murray’s son then stepped in to make her sit back down before another man intervened.

The politician is heard asking her campaign manager, Bob Davidson, to call the police and threatening to leave because she was not prepared to be “subjected to this”.

In a statement released by Ms Murray’s office, a spokesperson defended the threat to call the police saying they were concerned for their candidate’s safety.

It claimed she was “subjected to sustained abuse from a large group of Jeremy Corbyn supporters, many who had Labour stickers, the vast majority of which did not even come from [the area].”

Mr Davidson told the Plymouth Herald: “I am growing increasingly concerned over the actions of the hard left group within the Labour Party which is determined to stifle debate and our campaign through the very visible attacks on our posters.

“This is the same group which created so many problems for moderate Labour MPs when the vast majority of these Labour MPs did not back Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and signed a motion of no confidence in him.”

Last week, campaign posters for Ms Murray were dabbed with swastikas and neighbouring Tory candidate Johnny Mercer’s posters were defaced with claims that the party wanted to “sell of the NHS”.

Ms Murray said: “Nobody is saying a person going hungry is a good thing and everything must be done to stop this.

“Whilst we work to eradicate hunger however the food banks themselves do provide a good service.

“What really concerns me at the moment is Jeremy Corbyn gaining power and everyone needing food banks as the economy takes a nosedive.”

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