A Tory MP who co-chairs a parliamentary group on eating disorders has been accused of “fat-shaming” a councillor who criticised him on Twitter.
Blackpool Labour’s David Colldash tweeted on Thursday that local MP Scott Benton accepting football tickets from a betting firm was like him accepting a free pasty.
The MP replied that Mr Colldash seemed to have had “more than one free pasty”.
The councillor, who also works as a nurse, said the reply was “nasty”.
Mr Benton has been approached for comment.
More than one free pasty I suspect by the looks of it 👀🤦
— Scott Benton MP (@ScottBentonMP) July 15, 2021
The Blackpool South MP, who is also a vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on betting and gaming, was among eight Conservatives and two Labour members who accepted Euro 2020 tickets from gambling firms, according to the latest register of MPs’ financial interests.
He received tickets from Entain Holdings to the England’s semi-final match against Denmark, each valued at £3,457, and a £1,537.60 ticket to see the team’s group match against the Czech Republic from the Gamesys Group.
Entain Holdings also provided him with tickets worth £1,100 to Wimbledon and he received hospitality worth £1,400 from the Betting and Gaming Council.
In a tweet linking to the Guardian’s reporting of the story, Mr Colldash linked the hospitality to Mr Benton’s support for a new super casino in Blackpool and joked that “[bakers] Greggs once gave me a free pasty, so I’ve sold the town hall to the Great British Bake-Off”.
Mr Colldash, who works as a nurse, later tweeted that he had been “fat shamed” by Mr Benton, adding his comments were particularly shocking “in the middle of Love Island of all things”.
In a statement to the Lancashire Live website, the MP said his response had been “light-hearted” and “in the same vein as [Mr Colldash’s] original tweet.”
He also stated that in line with parliamentary procedures, all his interests were “fully declared”.