Lib Dems hit back at Conservative MP’s ‘despicable’ comments

Councillor Millie Earl, deputy leader of the BCP Council Liberal Democrat group, has hit back at Poole’s Conservative MP following his comments to the Bournemouth Echo on the rising cost of living.

She said: “For an MP to make such dismissive comments is not only an insult to residents experiencing crisis – but it completely undermines the work of all the community food access projects and their volunteers that are working to meet an ever-growing need.” 

Millie represents the Newtown & Heatherlands ward on BCP Council, works for Bournemouth Foodbank and voluntarily runs the Branksome & Rossmore Community Fridges – a food access project which redistributes surplus food to the community which provides food to over 400 households a month.

“Through my work in food access, I’m hearing more and more people are finding themselves facing financial hardship who never thought they’d be in that situation. With fuel prices at record highs and inflation climbing, yet wages remaining stagnant – many families are heading towards crisis. How our MP has failed to grasp the logic is beyond me.”

According to the Index of Multiple Deprivation, Poole, which Sir Robert Syms represents, has areas in the very top decile such as Canford Cliffs as well as in the bottom decile such as Turlin Moor.

“The reality is that many people are having to make difficult decisions between heating their homes and putting food on the table – there’s a serious problem in this country where even working full time doesn’t cover the basics people need to get on in life.”


“The audacity of Sir Robert Syms’ to imply that Christmas is to blame for the national crisis, that is food poverty, is despicable. It’s his government that is responsible and that has failed to act time and time again.”

“Representatives across all levels of government have a responsibility to educate themselves – how can we expect credible representation when they clearly don’t have a clue. Poole deserves better.”

She added: “I’ll be writing to Robert Syms to invite him to visit the Community Fridges to see some of the work we do for his many constituents who are struggling to access food.”

You can find more about the support available locally here: BCP Food Access Map


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