Aylesbury Vale councillor Mark Winn in Casualty food bank Twitter row

January 5, 2015 10:52 AM

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Aylesbury Vale councillor Mark Winn in Casualty food bank Twitter row

A Conservative councillor who said people who use food banks have "drug, alcohol and mental health problems" has faced a backlash on social media.

Mark Winn, who represents Bedgrove in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, commented on Twitter after watching the BBC One drama Casualty on Saturday.

He was apparently angered by the plot of the episode, which featured a young mother suspected of drug abuse who was actually suffering from malnutrition.

He told the BBC: "I really should have said some people have addictions or mental health problems that might use food banks."

In the episode of the long-running hospital drama, nurse Charlie Fairhead, played by Derek Thompson, told the woman who had malnutrition: "You're not a bad mother. It's the system that's wrong - it's unforgiveable."

Mr Winn tweeted to say the BBC was "supporting Labour propaganda" and "the people visiting food banks are those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems".

One person tweeted in reply: "People visiting food banks are the most vulnerable in society - you should be ashamed of your attitude."

Another said she was "not an addict, not mentally ill, and I work... need food bank to survive".

Mr Winn said he was "not at any point denying the need for food banks" and appreciated they were for "people in need whatever their personal circumstances".

"I did try and say that on Twitter, but I was being subjected to what was a politically motivated campaign and that has got lost in the noise," he said.

"I appreciate that I may have left myself open by trying to express a view on Twitter where there are not enough words to express what you really mean... a lesson learned."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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