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David Cameron faces foodbank backlash after posting about his volunteer work

It is often said there is no such thing as bad publicity, but David Cameron’s charity work in Oxfordshire might be the exception.

Maybe the former prime minister – mostly known for his risky gambles like Brexit – was after a bit of reputation rehabilitation when he posted a series of photos on Twitter about volunteering at a food project called the the Chippy Larder.

Instead, scores of critics, including a Labour MP, pointed to the irony that one of the politicians blamed for the surge in foodbank usage in the UK has been lending a hand at one.

Zara Sultana, MP for Coventry South, shared his tweet, adding: ‘Foodbank use went up 2,612% while David Cameron was prime minister. Apologise for that before you start posing for photos, David Cameron.’

Political commentator Owen Jones even compared his volunteer work to a ‘serial arsonist joinging the local fire brigade’.

Neil Cowan, from Glasgow-based Poverty Alliance, also hit back: ‘David Cameron’s government introduced the: benefit cap, two-child limit, benefits freeze, six (now five) week wait for Universal Credit, bedroom tax.

‘He has many lifetimes of volunteering to do before he amends for even 1% of the damage those policies did and continue to do.’

The former Tory leader at a food project in west Oxfordshire called the Chippy Larder (Picture: Twitter/ @David_Cameron)© Provided by Metro The former Tory leader at a food project in west Oxfordshire called the Chippy Larder (Picture: Twitter/ @David_Cameron)

Mr Cameron has often been blamed for ushering in the national foodbank ‘crisis’ and their usage has rocketed in the decade since the Conservatives took power.

In 2009/2010, the year before he won the election in 2010, the Trussell Trust provided 40,898 emergency three-day food parcels.

In comparison, in 2020/21, a record 2.5 million parcels were given out to people, with 980,000 of these going to children.

This also represented a 33% increase on the previous year.

He revealed he is currently driving to Poland with two Chippy Larder colleagues (Pictures: Twitter/ @David_Cameron)© Provided by Metro He revealed he is currently driving to Poland with two Chippy Larder colleagues (Pictures: Twitter/ @David_Cameron)

The series of pictures showed the ex-Tory leader at the charity near his home and then behind the wheel of a lorry before driving to Poland to deliver supplies like nappies and sanitary products for Ukrainians fleeing the war.

Whatever his intentions, he praised the ‘typically phenomenal’ generosity of the British people in gathering donations for refugees.

Mr Cameron added: ‘I’m currently driving to Poland with two Chippy Larder colleagues to make our delivery to the Red Cross.

‘It’s going to be a long drive, but I’ll keep you updated along the way.’

Earlier this week, Mr Cameron called for more humanitarian help to be given to Ukraine.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, he called on the government to ‘get back’ to dedicating 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to overseas aid, after it was cut to 0.5% last year.

Mr Cameron said the cabinet should have an aid minister, who would be ‘100% dedicated’ to the role.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised to return the UK’s aid contributions to 0.7% by the end of this Parliament.

But Mr Cameron said: ‘Let’s do more on humanitarian aid. We achieved 0.7% of GDP in our aid payments. I’m sad we’ve got away from that. I hope we can get back there.

‘Let’s – with the EU – lead the donor conference, lead the aid effort. Let’s have a dedicated aid minister in the Cabinet doing development.

‘The Foreign Office ministers do a great job but it’d be good to have someone who’s 100% dedicated to humanitarian aid and development.’

Source: Metro.co.uk

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