Lee Anderson today clashed with a BBC radio presenter in a heated interview. The new deputy Conservative Party chairman was challenged by BBC Radio Nottingham’s Verity Cowley about being caught on camera asking a friend to pose as an anti-Labour swing voter on the doorstep during the 2019 general election campaign.
Ms Cowley said: “There is a worry by some that you might be a bit dishonest.
“I’m talking about that video that you did where you asked a friend to pose as an anti-Labour swing voter.”
In response, the Ashfield MP repeatedly asked Ms Cowley if she had ever told a lie.
She replied: “But we’re not talking about me.”
When pressed, the radio presenter said: “I’ve never asked somebody to pretend to be something they’re not just to further my campaign.”
Asked 10 times if she had ever lied, Ms Cowley added: “As humans you tell false truths to protect people.”
Mr Anderson said: “So, you’re dishonest. We’ve established you’re dishonest and you tell lies.
Ms Cowley also challenged the Ashfield MP over previous comments he made about food banks.
Mr Anderson sparked controversy when he suggested that some people use food banks because they cannot cook or budget, and that nutritious meals could be prepared for 30p – prompting detractors to call him “30p Lee”.
He told the radio presenter: “I will double down on this. All I was doing was helping my local food bank. I was donating money, I was volunteering there, we got a chef involved and we batch-cooked lots of meals and they Worked out at 30p each.
“All I was trying to do was deliver these meals to people around Ashfield and help people budget and cook meals from scratch.”
It comes as Mr Anderson has also hit the headlines for backing the UK reintroducing the death penalty.
He made the comments before Rishi Sunak made him deputy chair of the Conservatives in Tuesday’s reshuffle.
Mr Anderson said you would have to be “very careful”, but added that the perpetrators of heinous crimes who are clearly identifiable should face capital punishment.
He told the Spectator: “Nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed. You know that, don’t you? 100 percent success rate.”
The Prime Minister has since distanced himself from Mr Anderson’s remarks.
Meanwhile in an exclusive interview with the Express today, the Ashfield MP insisted he will not change his outspoken ways now he is Tory chairman.
Mr Anderson also said he still wants to keep up his rapport with Express readers.
He said: “The Express and Express readers have given me great support since I became an MP. I want to keep talking to the Express just as I have been.”