The furious backlash against Jacob Rees-Mogg has continued after he lashed out at Unicef and accused them of a “political stunt” – after they offered to feed hungry British kids this Christmas.
The Commons Leader told MPs it was “a scandal” that the charity had said it would help feed 1,800 hungry children over Christmas for the first time in its 70-year history, calling the move “a political stunt of the lowest order”.
The attack followed an announcement by Unicef on Wednesday that it would pledge a grant of £25,000 to the charity School Food Matters which will use the money to supply thousands of breakfast boxes over the two-week Christmas school holidays to vulnerable children and families in Southwark, south London.
Neil Coyle, the MP for the area, labelled Rees-Mogg “Scrooge” – accusing him of a “lack of shame” after his comments.
“Charles Dickens used his memories of living in Southwark as inspiration for ‘A Christmas Carol’, which I’d recommend you read in order to observe the striking resemblance you bear to Scrooge before he amended his ways,” Coyle wrote.
“You could familiarise yourself with the conditions your choices have imposed on constituencies and communities like mine in the last decade and help prevent the ghastly spectacle of suggesting those who help children in need ‘should be ashamed’ in the run up to Christmas.”
He added: “The only people who should be ashamed are those who impose the poverty Unicef are attempting to relieve.”
Another Labour MP, Zarah Sultana – whose question prompted Rees-Mogg’s comments in the House on Thursday – tweeted a picture of the Dickensian classic, which she said she was giving to the Commons Leader for Christmas.
“It seems this wasn’t on Eton’s reading list,” Sultana wrote. “Merry Christmas.”