Tory grandeur Jacob Rees-Mogg has come under fire after accusing Unicef of “playing politics” in offering to help feed hard-up families in the UK.
The leader of the House of Commons said Unicef should be “ashamed” of itself after pledging to donate funds to feed hungry children.
He told MPs that is it a “scandal” that an organisation like Unicef should use its influence in the UK when children from third-world countries and war-torn nations are experiencing abject poverty and hardship.
Jacob Rees-Mogg described the announcement by Unicef as “a political stunt of the lowest order”, after the charity promised a grant of £25,000 to help feed 1,800 hungry children.
Responding to his brash comments, Labour’s Zarah Sultana said: “For the first time ever, Unicef, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian aid to children, is having to feed working-class kids in the UK.
“But while children go hungry, a wealthy few enjoy obscene riches. From Tory donors handed billions in dodgy contracts to people like the Leader of the House, who is reportedly in line to receive an £800,000 dividend payout this year.
“So will (Rees-Mogg) give the government time to discuss the need to make him and his super-rich chums pay their fair share so that we can end the grotesque inequality that scars our society?”
Jacob Rees-Mogg replied: “I think it is a real scandal that Unicef should be playing politics in this way when it is meant to be looking after people in the poorest, the most deprived, countries of the world where people are starving, where there are famines and where there are civil wars, and they make cheap political points of this kind, giving.
“I think, £25,000 to one council. It is a political stunt of the lowest order. Unicef should be ashamed of itself”.
In response to his comments, Anna Kettley, Unicef UK’s Director of Programmes and Advocacy, said: “Unicef UK is responding to this unprecedented crisis and building on our 25 years’ experience of working on children’s rights in the UK with a one-off domestic response, launched in August, to provide support to vulnerable children and families around the country during this crisis period.
“In partnership with Sustain, the food and farming alliance, over £700k of Unicef UK funds is being granted to community groups around the country to support their vital work helping children and families at risk of food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Unicef will continue to spend our international funding helping the world’s poorest children.
“We believe that every child is important and deserves to survive and thrive no matter where they are born.”