Tory Mayor of Dartford deletes picture showing him adorned in gold cutting ribbon to open food bank

The Mayor of Dartford is seen appearing to enjoy the occasion while adorned in gold, while Darford Council leader Jeremy Kite smiles

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Politicians smiling at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a food bank in Dartford are facing criticism.

The Mayor of Dartford is seen appearing to enjoy the occasion while adorned in gold, while Darford Council leader Jeremy Kite smiles.

James O'Brien took to Twitter to slam the photo, asking: "WTF are they all so happy about?"

Former Labour councillor Jonathan Hawkes also shared his dismay on the social media platform, stating: "The Tory leader of Dartford cutting the ribbon on another foodbank today. The choice for Dartford next year couldn’t be clearer."

Mr Kite spoke to James O'Brien, explaining the circumstances of the photo: "I love my town, I love the people in it and I am trying to do the right thing.

"There was a bit of a joke about the count down before the photo was taken.

"Food banks began under Labour. This was not a party and really if it was it was organised by the people who volunteer and run the food bank.

The politicians involved in the ribbon cutting ceremony have been slammed.
The politicians involved in the ribbon cutting ceremony have been slammed.

"More foodbanks with the Tories or a Labour administration genuinely committed to supporting residents through the Conservative cost of living crisis."

Mr Kite continued, saying the use of food banks in the UK is a "real scar" on the nation.

He told LBC: "The necessity of food banks are a real scar on our country. The organisers thought it was appropriate and that's why we did it.

The UK's reliance on food banks has attracted further criticism for the Government who are overseeing a cost of living crisis.
The UK's reliance on food banks has attracted further criticism for the Government who are overseeing a cost of living crisis.

"If the people at the food bank thought it was appropriate then as a guest it is not for me to say whether it was appropriate or not."

The image emerged as a leading think tank stated around 1.5 million UK households will struggle to pay food and energy bills amid a deepening cost-of-living crisis that will plunge Britain into a recession.

Soaring inflation compounded by the war in Ukraine will see many families hit with food and energy bills greater than their disposable income, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) estimates.

It has called for the Government to offer emergency support as it predicted that more than 250,000 households will “slide into destitution” next year, with the total number in extreme poverty to hit around one million unless urgent action is taken.