Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Mansfield today yesterday (August 16), paying visit to a food bank in the town and thanking staff for their work.
The Labour leader visited the food bank with prospective Labour party candidate for Mansfield, Councillor Sonya Ward, to find out how it was coping and to discuss what struggles it faces with volunteers and staff.
Following the visit, Mr Corbyn said: “It was a pleasure to meet the staff and volunteers who run the food bank and who have been able to use funds to move into new premises and offer more services.
“There should be no need for food banks in Britain in 2018 and, while they provide a lifeline for families, they are a daily reminder of the need to transform our economy so it works for the many, not the few.”
The Labour leader discussed his party’s plans to reduce the use of food banks in Mansfield and across Britain, outlining steps that the party would take to better support families who are in need.
He said: “One of the things Labour will press for if we get into government is the raising the minimum wage to £10 per hour.
“This will be quite a big pay rise in areas like Mansfield and the East Midlands which are, on average, the lowest paid areas in the country.
“We will also ensure the benefits system works to ensure all members of the family are able to get something to eat, introducing free school meals to every child no matter their circumstance in order to make sure they get at least one meal a day.”
Speaking at the food bank visit, Sonya Ward added: “We have some amazingly kind people here in Mansfield who help out those in their hour of need.
“However, we need to get rid of this Tory Government whose policies are causing the demand in the first place.”
Mansfield’s MP Ben Bradley said he was “not surprised” that the Labour leader chose to visit a food bank on his visit to the town, however he defended his work as MP since being elected last June.
He said: "“Big thanks to him for coming all the way up here to remind so many in Mansfield just why they switched from Labour to Conservative in 2017. Come as much as you like.
“Since I was elected as MP last year I have worked hard to support local services for local people, and this includes food banks.
“There is lots of work going on behind the scenes better and I hope that as time goes on they aren’t used as much in the first place.
“It is interesting that Jeremy has been here to visit Mansfield a couple of times since I was elected, and it clearly shows that Mansfield is now a place Labour see as being vital and important for the country.”