Two reports on the Commons debate on foodbanks condemn Tory ministers for not taking the plight of Britain's poor seriously.

The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith refused to answer questions and left early.{jcomments on}

As Fiona MacTaggart, the Labour MP for Slough, described how people battled over 'end of day' bargains in her local Tesco, she was almost drowned out by laughter and jeering from the government benches.

Labour MP for Copeland in Cumbria, Jamie Reed told The Mirror: “I regret to say the laughter from the government benches says more about this issue than words ever could.”

Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent said it was “extraordinary” to see Mr Duncan Smith smirking as it was pointed out that half a million people are now using food banks - and the minister refused to answer any questions directly, instead leaving them to be fielded by his deputy, Esther McVey.

The Trussell Trust, the nation's largest provider of food banks, with almost 400 branches said it was “disappointed” by the attitude of those who jeered.

Labour had called the debate after nearly 150,000 people signed a petition backed by The Mirror, the Unite union and The Trussell Trust calling for an inquiry into the growing dependence on food aid.

Ms McVey said it was a good thing that more people were turning to food banks and that Germany and Canada had also seen a rise in their use.

Read the full reports in the Independent and in the Mirror, which also includes a video link showing IDS ducking out of the debate

Thanks to Pre-Raphaelite Sister for spotting this news story


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