TV presenter Carole Malone has been heavily criticised after questioning the notion that there are people in the UK who starve to death during a discussion on the Jeremy Vine show.
On today’s programme on Channel 5, Carole made an appearance via video chat alongside journalist Nadine Batchelor-Hunt.
One of the topics they discussed with host Jeremy Vine was the recent news that Boris Johnson is having a second ‘Brexit jet’ painted with the Union Jack, having last year drawn criticism for costing taxpayers an estimated £900,000 by painting a plane with the red, white and blue flag.
Nadine said that in her opinion, she doesn’t believe that ‘paying £1m for painting a Union Jack on a plane in a pandemic’ is ‘patriotic’, given ‘we’ve got so many homeless people and children in poverty’.
‘I think it’s the opposite of patriotism – I think it’s spending money on things that don’t actually have any material value when people are starving to death, people are starving to death on Universal Credit,’ she said.
Carole hit back at Nadine’s statement, responding: ‘Who is starving to death in this country? This is just inflammatory talk. Who is starving to death in this country? It just doesn’t happen.’
Carole Malone slammed for claiming no one starves in the UK on Jeremy Vine show
The broadcaster continued, stating: ‘Yes there is poverty. There is poverty in this country and the way we’re going to address that and how to pay for Universal Credit and to pay for benefits is to do deals that make this country rich again.’
Later on, she added: ‘I’m willing to stand corrected, but I’d like to know who died of starvation in this country in the last 20 years.’
Several Jeremy Vine viewers lambasted Carole’s comments on social media, with one person tweeting: ‘Carole Malone showing us she has the intelligence of a door stop. There is no hunger in the UK? Really? So Marcus Rashford is feeding who? Etonites?’
‘There have been far too many ppl dying from hunger in this country in the last 25 years! The facts speak for themselves,’ another person remarked, linking to a report The Food Foundation published in September 2020, which found that 14% of families with children in the UK had experienced food insecurity within the past 6 months.
Another Twitter user said that Carole should be ‘better informed’, adding that ‘Jeremy Vine should have picked her up on that’.
‘I wonder if Carole Malone would like to retract her comment about no one dies of starvation in the UK?’ someone else said, sharing a link to a 2018 article in The Guardian which stated that in 2016, malnutrition was the underlying cause of 66 deaths in England and Wales and a factor in 285 more.
Carole responded to some of her critics on Twitter, stating in one tweet that there is a ‘difference between starving to death and malnutrition’.
‘I didn’t say people didn’t go hungry. I questioned the assertion that many in this country are starving to death. Do try to listen….’ she said in response to someone else.
In June 2020, a study conducted by Feeding Britain and Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab claimed that amid the coronavirus pandemic, one in four adults across the UK were at risk of hunger and potential malnutrition.
Professor Greta Defeyter, Director of Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab, said: ‘These findings present an appalling picture of the high percentage of adults experiencing food insecurity in the UK.’
Jeremy Vine airs weekdays from 9.15am on Channel 5.