Jacob Rees-Mogg sparks fury by saying Unicef should be ‘ashamed’ for feeding British children

Jacob Rees-Mogg sparks fury by saying Unicef should be ‘ashamed’ for feeding British children

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has caused outrage for criticising Unicef after it stepped in to help feed hungry children in the UK for the first time in its more than 70-year history.

The Leader of the House of Commons claimed the leading children's organisation should be "ashamed of itself”.

In response to Labour MP Zarah Sultana raising the news in Parliament, he said: "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 pledged a grant of £25,000 to the School Food Matters charity, which will provide breakfast boxes to economically disadvantaged children in Southwark, south London over the Christmas holidays.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner reacted to Rees-Mogg’s comment on Twitter.

As did Zarah Sultana MP.

Comedian Chris Addison also questioned the Conservative MP’s comments in the House of Commons.

Anna Kettley, Unicef UK’s director of programmes and advocacy, offered a response to Rees-Mogg.

She stated: “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.”

Unicef’s intervention is targeting Southwark because of its high rates of food insecurity.

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