Labour candidates Fred Grindrod and Liz Clements have written to the Conservative West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street and the leader of the Conservative Group on Birmingham City Council, Robert Alden, asking them to condemn remarks made by the Conservative candidate for Bournville and Cotteridge at yesterday (Thursday 27th April) evening’s hustings in Bournville and Cotteridge.
In his answers to questions from the public, Councillor Douglas Osborn used the offensive terms “tinker” and “coloured”. He also failed to recognise the rapidly rising demand for foodbanks in Birmingham, stating that people only use foodbanks because they are free. When challenged on this he said that “people didn’t want to hear the truth”. The foodbank itself is located in Cotteridge Church where the hustings took place.
Fred Grindrod said, “I was shocked by the language used by Councillor Douglas Osborn at tonight’s hustings. A number of members of the public approached me to express their dismay. We have written to both the Mayor and Leader of the Conservative Group asking them to condemn these remarks. The people of Birmingham go to the polls on Thursday, they need to know their answer on this issue well in advance of then.’”
Liz Clements said “Bournville Labour Party is proud to support the work of the B30 foodbank, but we are sad that it is necessary in our city due to Conservative policies. It is incredible that just a day after the #BrumFeeds campaign is launched, a Tory council candidate implies that many foodbank users are scroungers. It is even more shocking that he said this at a church where the local foodbank is based.’
For more information, please contact Fred Grindrod on 0773 007 0383 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors
1. Councillor Douglas Osborn is the Conservative candidate for Bournville and Cotteridge. He is currently serving as the Conservative councillor for Weoley.
2. The hustings event was held at the Cotteridge Church, Pershore Road, Cotteridge between 7:30 pm and 9 pm on Thursday 27th April 2018. Candidates were in attendance from the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, and TUSC.
3. The #BrumFeeds campaign was launched by BirminghamLive on 25th April 2018 in response to the growing crisis in our city. Almost 33,500 people needed emergency help from foodbanks in Birmingham between April 2017 and March 2018, figures from the Trussell Trust charity have revealed. Each foodbank works with a range of frontline professionals, such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and the Citizens Advice Bureau, who make referrals to the foodbank using a voucher. https://www.trusselltrust.org/