Tories criticised after candidate suggests budget problems behind food bank use

The Tories have been labelled "out of touch" after one of their parliamentary candidates suggested people using food banks struggle with being able to manage their budget.

Darren Henry, who is running to be the MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, made the comments during a hustings event in Beeston on Friday night.

He told voters: "When they go down to the food bank, what they struggle with is maybe being able to manage their budget...

"A thing that can help them is how we can offer them some advice and support.

"When people are really, really down, and when people haven't got the money, one of the things they can look to do is to get a payday loan or something like that.

"If I'm in Parliament, as a private member's bill, if I ever get the opportunity, one of the things I'd like to do is to try and stop payday loan advertising because that just makes the whole problem worse.

"What we need to do is to be able to support these people and helping them understand budgets and money is a really useful thing and it's something we can bring into schools as well."

People can be heard heckling him in a video recording of his comments – labelling them "a disgrace".

Former Tory minister Anna Soubry, who is seeking re-election as an Independent Group for Change candidate in the seat she has held since 2010, told the PA news agency: "He's utterly clueless and lacks the understanding and compassion to be an MP.

"Broxtowe's food banks (we have one in Beeston and two in Stapleford) work with our excellent Citizens Advice Centre and help struggling families with debt and welfare claims."

Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery criticised the remarks, saying: "The Conservatives have no answers to the poverty they have caused in our communities.

"It shows how out of touch the Tories are that they think the way to tackle the surge in food bank use is to stop adverts for payday loan companies.

"There is a clear choice at this election: five more years of poverty, inequality and homelessness under the Tories, or a Labour government that will end food bank Britain and bring about real change."