A TORY MP has been condemned after saying foodbank users cannot cook or budget properly.

Ashfield MP Lee Anderson made the comments in the Commons chamber today in a debate about the Queen's Speech.

He also invited opposition MPs to visit a foodbank in his constituency where people who attend are registered for a "cooking course" and a "budgeting course", he claimed.

The remarks have been criticised from all sides, with Mr Anderson now facing calls to apologise.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Anderson said: “My invitation is to everybody on that side of the House, come to Ashfield and work with me for a day in my food bank and see the brilliant scheme we have got in place where when people come now, for a food parcel, they have to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course.

“And what we do in the food bank, we show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget.

“We can make a meal for about 30 pence a day. And this is cooking from scratch.”

Intervening, Labour MP, Alex Cunningham, asked: “Should it be necessary to have food banks in 21st century Britain?”

Mr Anderson replied: “He makes a great point and this is exactly my point.

“So, I invite you personally to come to Ashfield, look at our food bank, how it works and I think you will see first hand that there’s not this massive use for food banks in this country but generation after generation who cannot cook properly, they can’t cook a meal from scratch.

“They cannot budget.

“The challenge is there.

“Come, come. I’ll offer anybody.”

Speaking directly after the Conservative MP, SNP MP Joanna Cherry told Mr Anderson people do not use food banks because they do not know how to cook, but because “we have poverty in this country at a scale that should shame his Government”.

Labour branded his remarks “beyond belief”, whilst the Liberal Democrats described them as “disgraceful” and as an “insult to millions of hard-working people”.

The Child Poverty Action Group claimed politicians “would do better to back real-world solutions, like bringing benefits in line with inflation this Autumn”.

Shadow work and pensions minister Karen Buck said: “In the world where people actually live we now hear daily stories of families going without food and others unable to turn their ovens on in fear of rising energy bills.

“The idea that the problem is cooking skills and not 12 years of government decisions that are pushing people into extreme poverty is beyond belief.

“Out of touch doesn’t even cover it.”

Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokeswoman Wendy Chamberlain said in a statement outside the Commons: “These comments are disgraceful and an insult to millions of hard-working people who are struggling to put food on the table for their family through no fault of their own.

“Lee Anderson should apologise straight away for his shameful remarks.”

Alison Garnham, Child Poverty Action Group’s chief executive, said: “Four million children are living in poverty in the UK, and it’s not because their parents can’t cook.

“There are few households better at budgeting than those on a low income, they have to do it every single day.

“Rather than insulting parents who have no option but to use foodbanks in the face of soaring costs and real terms income cuts, politicians would do better to back real-world solutions, like bringing benefits in line with inflation this autumn.”

The SNP's Kirsty Blackman said the comments were "reprehensible" and showed the Tories were "out of touch" with the hardship being faced by people all over the country.

She added: "The reality is that people are being left with no choice but to turn to foodbanks and make the impossible choice between eating and heating because of Tory inaction over the cost-of-living crisis which is spiralling out of control on the UK government’s watch."