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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Tory peer apologises after saying 'poor people don't know how to cook'

Baroness Jenkin made the remarks in Westminster yesterday.

Baroness Jenkin
Baroness Jenkin
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A CONSERVATIVE PARTY peer has apologised after she said that “poor people don’t how to cook”.

Baroness Jenkin was speaking in the wake of the publication of a major report on the rising use of food banks in Britain. A parliamentary inquiry examined the extent and spread of hunger as well as what causes food poverty.

At the launch of the report in Westminster yesterday, the Tory peer said: “We’ve lost a lot of our cooking skills and poor people don’t know how to cook.

“I mean I had a large bowl of porridge today, it cost 4p. A large bowl of sugary cereals will cost 25p. So I really hope that the supermarkets are listening to us.”

Her remarks were widely criticised with the Labour MP Bill Esterson saying the comments were “an absolute disgrace”.

“Many of my constituents can’t afford food. The blame for this lies firmly with the Tories and their Lib Dem allies,” he told The Daily Mirror.

Lady Jenkin, who is married to the Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, later apologised for her remarks.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s World At One programme, she apologised for any offence caused, adding she had made “a mistake”.

“Obviously I was stupidly speaking unscripted,” she said.

“What I meant was as a society we have lost our ability to cook, or that no longer seems to be handed down in the way that it was in previously in previous generations. Life is considerably cheaper if you are able to cook.”

Read: A UK minister said it’s ‘not worth’ paying disabled people the minimum wage

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Hugh O'Connell

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