Lee Anderson uses aide as example of how to handle cost of living … – The Telegraph

Lee Anderson accused of using people like 'political footballs' after tweet suggesting people should copy his member of staff
A Tory MP has used his parliamentary aide as an example of how to handle the cost of living crisis. 
Lee Anderson, who has previously claimed that poor people only use food banks because they “can’t budget”, posted details of Katy Colthup’s salary and expenditure on Twitter to defend his views. 
He claimed the staffer was able to rent a room in central London, and pay student debt and could also afford foreign holidays while earning less than £30,000 without the need of a food bank. 
Mr Anderson’s comments drew criticism from MPs who accused the backbencher of using his staff as “political footballs”. 
The MP, who accompanied his tweet with a picture of the aide at her desk, wrote: 
Katy works for me. She is single & earns less than 30k, rents a room for £775pcm in Central London, has student debt, £120 a month on travelling to work saves money every month, goes on foreign holidays & does not need to use a foodbank.

Katy makes my point really well. pic.twitter.com/8nrwTSQ4Qs
Dawn Butler, a Labour MP, said the tweet was “a form of bullying and harassment”, urging the Ashfield MP to delete his message and said that she was reporting him to the Commons authorities.
“Whether Katy agreed to this, it is unacceptable to use a young female employee this way,” the Labour backbencher said.
“I will also be writing to the House of Commons authorities to stress that this is a very dangerous political strategy,” she added. 
Ms Colthup’s Linkedin profile states that she has worked for Mr Anderson as a parliamentary assistant for the past eight months and was educated at the £35,000 a year St Peters School, in York. 
Earlier, Mr Anderson defended fellow Tory MP Simon Clarke after he had questioned why nurses earning £35,000 a year were using food banks
The former levelling up secretary told nurses “something is wrong with your budgeting” if they were relying on handouts. 
Shortly afterwards he was rebuked by his successor Michael Gove, NHS staff and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) who led further strikes in the dispute over nurses’ pay and conditions.
Mr Gove told Sky News: “I would never criticise nurses for something like that.”
Pat Cullen, the RCN general secretary, said: “To criticise anybody using a food bank is disgusting, ­heartless and dangerously out of touch.
“Sky-high inflation means some nursing staff are living on a financial knife-edge and even their own employer – NHS trusts across the country – are being forced to open food banks to feed their staff.”
While the average salary of a nurse is about £35,000, the majority of nurses are on a Band 5 pay rate, which has a starting salary of £27,055, rising to £32,934 over four years.


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