Noted: How our local MPs voted to oppose food bank motion

On Wednesday, in the House of Commons, the Labour party put forward a motion that called for the government to look into the use of food banks in Britain.

Richard Ottaway: voted against the publication of a government report on food banks. has decided not to oppose a 11% pay increase for MPs though

Richard Ottaway: voted against the publication of a government report on food banks

The number of people – many of them hard-working families – using food banks provided by one network, the Trussell Trust, has increased from 41,000 in 2010 to more than 500,000 by April this year. One-third of these people are children. The number of food bank clients has doubled since 2012.

According to the Trussell Trust, the key factors in the rising numbers of people resorting to food banks are rising living costs and stagnant wages, as well as delays to social security payments and the impact of the Bedroom Tax.

The government, through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, commissioned and paid for research into the use of food banks, and promised to publish the results in the summer. That report has been withheld.

As with so much in politics, Wednesday’s “debate” was less about the matter in hand, and more about a ding-dong of party point-scoring. As Isabel Hardman has written in The Spectator, “this debate has become all about the politics of food banks rather than the much more important issue of how government really can help them and drive down demand for them”.

The essence of the Opposition motion was the call for the publication of the government’s own report.

The motion was defeated, the ConDem coalition mobilising its numbers to avoid a defeat. Click here to read the Hansard record of the debate, and the vote.

It is worth noting that among those who voted against the motion were the Sutton LibDems, Paul Burstow and Tom Brake (the deputy leader of the House), and Croydon’s Tories, Tricky Dicky Ottaway and the MP for the Whitgift Foundation, Gavin Barwell.

A classic case of party politics taking precedent over conscience. And common humanity.

Coming to Croydon

    • Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
    • Post your comments on this article below.
    • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in 2015 General Election, Charity, Croydon Central, Croydon Nightwatch, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell, Paul Burstow MP, Richard Ottaway MP, Tom Brake MP and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Noted: How our local MPs voted to oppose food bank motion

  1. I saw Ottaway a few days ago, looking utterly lost, as if he had no idea where he was. He was in Croydon.

Leave a Reply