Comedian Jason Manford has hit out at the UK government as the use of food banks soars amid the cost of living crisis.
The 41-year-old decried the situation as a ‘mess’ and accused Rishi Sunak’s government of ‘hypocrisy’ as he teams up with food bank charity Trussel Trust.
Following in the footsteps of comedy act Ladbaby, which works with the charity each year, Jason is releasing a Christmas single and new album to raise funds and awareness of the organisation.
And in an interview ahead of its release, the comedian slammed the increase in people using food banks as ‘a mess.’
‘I would say that the evidence suggests that [the UK government] is not dealing with it very well, with 360,000 new families having to use food banks for the first time this year,’ he told the PA news agency.
‘[The government] sort of say, “Oh, we’ve got no money for this,” but then you managed to find a lot of money to give to your mates to come up with PPE or whatever, and that failed.
‘And so that’s the problem, the hypocrisy of it.’
Jason went on to say that if he was a musician he would be ‘absolutely mortified,’ adding these things ‘shouldn’t be happening.’
Proceeds from Jason’s new album Assembly Bangers: The Album will go to Trussell Trust’s first large-scale emergency appeal to ensure food banks are able to keep supporting families this winter amid a huge spike in the number of people needing them.
The album follows the release of charity single, also titled Assembly Bangers, which was released last month.
Speaking about his decision to work with Trussel Trust and release a record in aid of it, Jason admitted he had mixed feelings.
‘It is one of those charities that frustrates me because it shouldn’t be a charity, there should be no need for it in the 21st century, in a First World country, or in any country but certainly not in the UK.
‘People are working full time and still having to use food banks. It’s atrocious,’ he raged.
He added the charity single is ‘a bit of fun’ but most importantly will ‘raise money for people who need it at this critical time.’
And referencing Ladbaby – aka Mark Hoyle – who has long been working with the charity and clinching Christmas number ones each year to raise funds, he said: ‘It’s not our job, you know?
‘What would be nice is if we were raising money to take children in end-of-life care to Disneyland or sorting out a load of PlayStations for a hospital ward, things that are a bonus or a nice thing… Not feeding people.
Meanwhile, Ladbaby this year has teamed up with Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis for new song, Food Aid, which has been reworked to Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain recently to speak about the new song, he implied his latest song could be his last if we all club together to support food banks – and revealed he hoped last year’s track would be the end of it.
‘I wanted last year to be the last one and then we had a cost of living crisis and I became an ambassador of the Trussell Trust and I hear about the problems,’ he continued.
‘I didn’t want to come back but I’ve got to when it’s making a difference.’
Assembly Bangers: The Album will be released on December 16.
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