Tory MP Lee Anderson accused of ‘bullying and harassment’ for revealing staff member’s salary in food bank row

Lee Anderson MP posted a picture of parliamentary researcher Katy Colthup, writing that she does not need to use a food bank despite earning less than £30,000.

Conservative MP Lee Anderson has been accused of “bullying and harassment” after sharing his staff members salary details on Twitter in a row over food bank use.

Lee Anderson posted a picture of Katy Colthup, a parliamentary researcher, writing that she does not need to use a food bank despite earning less than £30,000 a year.

The tweet came after Tory ex-minister Simon Clarke was rebuked by Michael Gove and opposition MPs after he said nurses earning £35,000 who use food banks should “budget better”.

Lee Anderson, Ashfield MP. Picture by London Portrait Photoqrapher-DAV.

In his tweet, Mr Anderson shared how much Ms Colthup budgets each month.

He wrote: “Katy works for me. She is single & earns less than 30k, rents a room for £775pcm in Central London, has student debt, £120 a month on travelling to work saves money every month, goes on foreign holidays & does not need to use a foodbank.

“Katy makes my point really well.”

However the tweet was met with serious backlash with many people accusing the Ashfield MP of “abusing” his position of power.

Labour MP Dawn Butler said the tweet was “a form bullying and harassment”, urging him to delete it.

The Brent Central MP said she had lodged a complaint in Parliament.

She wrote: “This is a form of bullying and harassment.

“Whether Katy agreed to this, it is unacceptable to use a young female employee this way. Please delete.

“I have also complained to the independent complaints in Parliament which states.

“Bullying =  behaviour involving an abuse or misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, undermined, humiliated, denigrated or threatened.”

Lib Dem MP Jamie Stone wrote: “I have never, and would never, use my staff as a political football.

“This is in seriously bad taste and is an awful way to admit that you don’t pay your staff enough.”

Mr Clarke sparked the row after he said £35,000 is the median nurse’s salary, and added: “I don’t believe people on an average salary of £35,000 a year need to be using food banks.”

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said: “To criticise anybody using a food bank is disgusting, heartless and dangerously out of touch.

“I have toured the length and breadth of this country and met nursing staff from every corner of the nation – and their fear and fright about not being able to meet their bills is palpable.”