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Ann Widdecombe: don’t have cheese sandwiches if you can’t afford them

Ex-Brexit party MEP says there is no ‘given right’ to low food prices despite families struggling with cost of living

Ann Widdecombe was on a roll yesterday on cheese sandwiches and the cost of making of this simple lunch.

Families should go without cheese sandwiches if they cannot afford the ingredients, Ann Widdecombe has said.

The former Brexit party MEP said there was no “given right” for low food prices, despite being told families “cannot afford to feed their children” and were having to make huge sacrifices as the cost of living crisis deepens.

Widdecombe, who joined the Reform UK party this year, was on BBC’s Politics Live programme when she was asked what she would say to consumers who could not afford to pay for basics such as the ingredients of a cheese sandwich.

“Well then you don’t do the cheese sandwich,” Widdecombe replied. “None of it’s new. We’ve been through this before. The problem is we’ve been decades now without inflation, we’ve come to regard it as some kind of given right.”

The government has been urged to intervene in the deepening crisis as research has found some meat and vegetable items at supermarkets have almost doubled in price over the past year.

According to the consumer group Which?, annual inflation on supermarket own-label budget items rose to 25% in April.

Before Widdecombe made the comments on Politics Live, she had heard of BBC research that showed the cost of a homemade cheese sandwich had risen by a third to 40p a serving.

She claimed farmers had “constantly” complained to her about supermarket pricing when she was the MP for Maidstone. “The only way this is going to be tackled is if inflation is going to come down,” Widdecombe said. “You will not get inflation coming down if you continue to have inflationary wage rises.”

The Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, Sarah Olney, said: “How out of touch can you get? Ann Widdecombe joins a long line of rightwing politicians who pin the blame on hard-working families for this government’s failures.

“Families are struggling to afford the weekly shop, but Rishi Sunak is refusing to act. We need a proper plan to bring food prices down now including tackling profiteering and boosting support for our farmers.”

As the Conservatives’ devastating local election losses set in, one of Sunak’s ministers admitted the party had to improve its response to the cost of living crisis.

Johnny Mercer, the MP for Plymouth Moor View, said after Labour took control of the local council: “We’ve got to do better and we’ve got to learn from tonight.”

The culture secretary, Lucy Frazer, also said the Tories’ losses of more than 1,000 local councillors reflected concerns among voters about the high cost of living.

“It’s really important that we listen to people,” Frazer told Sky News. “I know people are frustrated and angry.”

Widdecombe should stick to dancing, that said she wasn't much good at that either.


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