The Scottish Conservative MP for Aberdeen South is pictured holding a bag full of goods from Tesco in a Tweet in which he wrote: “Today I visited @Tesco Wellington Road to meet volunteers for @TrussellTrust and @FareShareUK. I was pleased to make a donation to the local food bank to help those who are vulnerable and in need #EveryCanHelps.”
However, the post has not gone down well online, with many taking to the social media platform to criticise the MP for a “lack of self awareness”, with one user writing: “Don’t know how you’ve got the nerve to stand there and have a photograph taken when it’s your party’s policies which has caused the need for food banks.”
The Tweet has had over 3,500 replies, many of which are attacking Mr Thomson for his “hypocrisy”.
@derekrobertson wrote: “You are in dire need of appropriate PR handling. No one can ever be ‘pleased’ to donate to a food bank. And then it gets worse...your hashtag is crass in the extreme.”
While @drummerwhitey added: “Should you not be hanging your head in Shame that people in your constituency and the 5th largest economy in the world need food banks?”
Pointing out that several other Tory MPs, including John Lamont and Kirstene Hair, had also engaged in similar photoshoots, @TroubleDads posted: “Absolutely no self awareness at all. Tory HQ sends Tories to @Tesco to pretend they care. That backfired big style.”
The Conservative government have refused to accept a link between the rise in the use of food banks and the imposition of austerity.
While prominent members of the party such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was previously criticised for describing the voluntary support given to food banks as “rather uplifting”, have faced criticism over trying to put a positive spin on their use.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly attacked the government over the issue, stating that the growing number of food banks are a “shameful” sign of poverty under the Conservatives.
A spokesman from Ross Thomson’s office said: “This is a national publicity event organised by Tesco, Fareshare and the Trussel Trust.
“Ross and his Scottish Conservative colleagues were happy to back the campaign. MPs from every political party, including government ministers, have donated to the cause.”