Angry protesters chase Scotland’s only Tory MP out of town after he turned up to open a Food Bank.
Protestors shouted “Shame on you” and screamed at Scottish Secretary David Mundell after he sneaked out the back door of the Trussell Trust-operated facility in the Dumfries and Galloway town.
David Mundell food bank visit
They surrounded the white Ford Focus motor he was in, which had to slowly edge its way through the raging mob with the help of a police escort.
People banged on the windows and at first refused to let the vehicle move, until four uniformed police officers arrived to part the crowd.
The Tory toff and MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale has previously questioned claims of a link between food bank use and his party’s welfare reforms.
He said in February: “We’re just not going to agree on that. What we are going to agree is that we need to do something about it. That is best achieved by everyone working together.”
Disabled protestor Ian Patterson, 66, who lost half his left leg and a toe on his other foot following complications due to diabetes seven months ago fumed: “If I had still had both my legs I would have booted him in the nuts.
“It is disgusting that Mundell has come along today to open a food bank when it is his party which had put people in the position where they can’t afford to feed themselves or their families.”
Ian, who lives in the town, added: “The Tories are targeting the most vulnerable people in society – the disabled, the elderly, and now the young with their cut in housing benefit for the under 21s.
“If Mundell believes in his party policies, and that food banks haven’t been caused by the Tories, he would have come out the front door and faced folk – not scurried out the back like a coward.”
Mundell, who had sneaked in the back door of the Dumfriesshire food bank, in the town’s Apex Centre, to avoid protestors, was welcomed by the Trussell Trust’s Scotland Network Manager, Ewan Gurr,
Gurr told reporters and staff inside the building: “It is not a pleasure opening a new food bank.
“David and I probably both stand here with conflicting emotions. In one sense, we commiserate the fact that food poverty exists, but we absolutely, unashamedly celebrate the way in which communities pull together in times like this to respond to a need.
“I have welcomed Labour MPs to open food banks, SNP MPs, and Liberal Democrat MPs to open food banks, and you sure as hell better believe I am going to welcome a Conservative MP to come and open a food banks, so I welcome David Mundell today.”
Mundell also made a short statement, but refused to answer any questions from the press, and point-blank refused requests from photographers to step into the adjoining room where food parcels were being prepared to pose in front of some of the donations already made by generous members of the public.
Speaking in front of a spread of sandwiches, biscuits, and quiche, which had been laid on for his arrival, Mundell said: “I believe it is very important to have full, open discussions about issues, and I don’t want to hide away from people’s concerns, and I don’t do that.
“I have been a local representative for 16 years, and I haven’t spent that time just going round speaking to people who agree with me, or who agree with government policy.
“That is a very inappropriate way for a local MP to act.”
However, just seconds later he scuttled off through the back door where he was surrounded by the angry mob of around 200 folk – and despite what he had just said – refused to speak to any of them.
He sat in the front seat, expressionless, and facing forward as the crowed bayed around him, refusing to acknowledge anyone who was there.
Fellow protestor Lesley-Anne McLelland, 56, who is also confined to a wheelchair, said: “It is absolutely ridiculous that so many people have to rely upon food banks in Scotland in this day and age.
“We are the only oil-rich country in the world where people have to be fed using them.
“For Mundell to come and open this while his government is putting through Parliament more hurt and misery for people is disgusting.
“He didn’t even have the guts to face anyone who was here today.
“He and his party are targeting the young, the old, and the disabled with their attack on the benefits system.
“It is like we are back in the 18th century, I am just waiting for the Tories to say they are sending children back up chimneys.
“Instead of targeting the vulnerable, the Westminster government should be going after the big companies and businessmen who are guilty of tax avoidance, but they will do nothing about that because the vast majority of them are Tory doners.”
South Lanarkshire Solidarity Councillor, Pat Lee, added: “We are here to hold Mundell to account for his hypocrisy, and instilling further austerity on the whole of Scotland.
“We are here to show support for the people of Dumfries, and the obscenity of a further food bank, and a Tory MP revelling in the publicity of opening another food bank.
“As MP Mhairi Black has said, the opening of food banks shows the welfare state has failed.
“Mundell is a liar and is in complete denial if he claims the Tory government’s policies have nothing to do with the explosion of food banks across Scotland.”
source: Daily Record
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