Tory MPs lash out at Oxfam after charity highlights impact of government’s austerity drive

Oxfam has kicked up a storm with its latest advertising campaign which focuses on British poverty.

The ad has nettled Conservative MPs who have complained to the charities watchdog over the ad, which resembles a film poster depicting a tempestuous ocean, and reads: “The Perfect Storm. Starring zero hours contracts, high prices, benefits cuts, unemployment, childcare costs”.

Lifting the lid on austerity Britain reveals a perfect storm - and it’s forcing more and more people into poverty.

— Oxfam (@oxfamgb) June 6, 2014

Tory MP Conor Burns said Oxfam had launched a “highly political campaign,” according to the Huffington Post, and said that people who support Oxfam will be left “shocked and saddened.”

“Most of us operated under the illusion that Oxfam’s focus was on the relief of poverty and famine overseas,” he said.

“I cannot see how using funds donated to charity to campaign politically can be in accord with Oxfam’s charitable status.”

Ben Phillips, Oxfam’s Campaigns and Policy Director stepped in to defend the charity’s advert, saying it had a “duty to draw attention to the hardship suffered by poor people we work with in the UK.

“Fighting poverty should not be a party political issue - successive governments have presided over a tide of rising inequality and created a situation where food banks and other providers provided 20 million meals last year to people who could not afford to feed themselves.

“This is an unacceptable situation in one of the world’s largest economies and politicians of all stripes have a responsibility to tackle it.”

Meanwhile people took to Twitter to voice their support for the charity.

Tory MP trying to stop Oxfam from doing what it was set up to do. Charity Cmmn should dismiss complaint immediately

— Gareth Thomas MP (@GarethThomasMP) June 11, 2014

Tories attacking Oxfam is just brilliant. Next week, they take on David Attenborough, Cbeebies and kitten gifs. #PR

— Matt Leys (@mattleys) June 11, 2014

Oxfam are perfectly entitled to point out how govt policies affect the poor. Tory attack has made that point even clearer

— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) June 10, 2014

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