Mansfield MP Ben Bradley wades into Marcus Rashford’s child poverty debate with viral tweet - but not everyone agrees with him

Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has responded to footballer Marcus Rashford’s question over where the responsibility for feeding children in poverty lies – but not everyone on Twitter agrees with the Conservative’s standpoint.

By Sam Ward
Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:54 pm

Footballer Marcus Rashford has been making a name for himself in the political world this summer by campaigning to end child food poverty under the hashtag, #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY, looking to the government to offer more support to families struggling to put food on the table across the UK.

The Manchester United forward has already forced the government into a U-turn over free school meals this year, and is now targeting child food poverty on the whole.

However, not everyone agrees with Rashford – and he has been garnering a lot attention and backlash from Twitter users, with many believing that it is not down to the government and tax payers to feed children in poverty, but down to the parents.

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Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, questioned the footballer on Twitter this week by stating: “Where they can, it’s a parents job to feed their children.”

Marcus Rashford replied: “I would urge you to talk to families before tweeting. To this day I haven’t met one parent who hasn’t wanted or felt the responsibility to feed their children...”

The tweets led to a large amount of discourse about the topic on the social media site, and Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield, joined the debate, openly opposing Marcus Rashford’s viewpoint, calling the footballer’s desired handouts ‘freebies’.

Ben Bradley said on Twitter last night, September 6: “Mad world we live in where saying that parents are responsible for feeding their children is now seen as wildly offensive and controversial...

Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield

“Dare I say that a long term degradation of personal responsibility is part of the problem here? You don't fix poverty with freebies!!”

Whilst some people fervently agreed with the 30-year-old Conservative, others were quick to raise their disagreement with his statement.

Natalie Paweleck responded by Tweeting: “And so in the mean time, let kids in our country starve? Unlucky kids, the parents you were born to can’t provide for you and so you won’t be able to eat. This isn’t something any decent person should agree with.

“The kids come first. Simple.”

Rose McDowall, also disagreeing with the MP’s statement, added: “It is a mad world where families work for hours on poverty pay, who have to choose to pay rent or feed family.

“What a complete lack of understanding on display from a conservative MP. Are we surprised?

“Perhaps this gov should try harder to fix poverty they have had 10 years.”

However, there were a lot of Twitter users agreeing with the sentiment, backing up the MP’s view.

James Alexander Kirby responded by saying: “Nail on head.

"My wife and I have two, beautiful, healthy, happy and affordable children.

"Part of our decision not to have a third was affordability. Old fashioned consideration, it would seem.”

Ben Bradley has previously campaigned to support working class boys in the area, as well as supporting this year’s Unicef Soccer Aid.