Tory councillor Mark Winn says food banks are only used by ‘those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems’

Tory councillor Mark Winn says food banks are only used by ‘those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems’

mark-winn-2 (2)Civil servant and former Bucks health committee member deletes Twitter account following online backlash


Sunday 04 January 2015

A Tory councillor has provoked a Twitter backlash after claiming that food banks are only visited by “those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems”.

Mark Winn, who is also a civil servant with the Ministry of Defence and until recently held an appointment on Buckinghamshire council’s health scrutiny committee, hit out at what he called “the BBC doing Labour’s bidding” after watching an episode of Casualty on Saturday night.

The Aylesbury councillor was apparently infuriated by a storyline involving a young mother who, contrary to initial suspicions of drug abuse, is actually suffering from malnutrition.

When her son is injured while crossing the road, nurse Charlie Fairhead (played by Derek Thompson) tells her: “You’re not a bad mother, it’s the system that’s wrong, it’s unforgiveable.”


ewers commended the broadcaster for tackling the issue – equality activist Merry Cross tweeted:Some vi “Well done Casualty scriptwriters for highlighting the evil of benefit sanctions in last night’s show. BBC fiction better than their news!”

But Mr Winn criticised the programme as “propaganda on foodbanks” and “rubbish”, writing on Twitter: “The people visiting food banks are those with drug, alcohol + mental health problems.”

The comment was picked up by the Political Scrapbook blog, which prompted others on Twitter to respond to the councillor.

Daniel Holland wrote: “Are you serious? People visiting food banks are the most vulnerable in society – you should be ashamed of your attitude!”

Lyttle Green called it “hideous on so many levels and totally unsurprising from a Tory”, while Kathryn said: “Also, even if they were, so what? Widespread addiction is a good indicator something is wrong with society.”

Mr Winn has since deleted the tweet and, after the criticism continued, suspended his account altogether.

The councillor was unavailable for comment when contacted by The Independent.

Credit: The Independent 

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