Search icon


17th Jul 2021

MP and co-chair of eating disorder group fat shames nurse on Twitter

Charlie Herbert

He said that it looked like the health worker had eaten too many pasties.

A Tory MP who is also the co-chairman of a cross-party parliamentary group on eating disorders has been accused of fat shaming after he appeared to make fun of a nurse’s weight on Twitter.

MP for Blackpool South, Scott Benton, was responding to a tweet from nurse David Colldash in which he highlighted how the MP had been lobbying for a casino in Blackpool after accepting thousands of pounds worth of sport tickets and hospitality from gambling organisations.

Colldash tweeted: “@ScottBentonMP gets a free ticket to the Euros from a gambling company and suddenly #Blackpool needs a new casino priceless! Greggs once gave me a free pasty so I’ve sold the town hall to the Great British Bake-off”

Seemingly wound up by the criticism, Benton replied: “More than one free pasty I suspect by the looks of it.”

Remarkably, despite making the remark Thursday, the tweet is still up and has yet to be deleted at the time of writing.

The MP later claimed that the reply was meant to be light-hearted. Despite this, it has still been roundly criticised by other users in Twitter.

One user responded to Benton’s jibe: “I am old enough to remember when you guys used to clap NHS workers as opposed to insulting them.”

Another said: “An irony in the co-chair of a parliamentary group on eating disorders attempting to shame a nurse for their eating on the basis of their looks. Another irony in making a joke about a £2 Greggs indulgence, while accepting £7,500 tickets to Ascot, Wimbledon, Wembley in 2 weeks.”

A third added: “What a nasty response. By all means, defend your actions and fire back… but, at the very least, keep it professional.”

Benton told Lancashire Live that the nurse is a Labour Party councillor who “frequently posts unwelcome and unpleasant comments on my social media pages,” and that his response to Colldash’s tweet was “light hearted and in the same vein as his original tweet.”

The Independent reports that the MP has previously breached parliamentary rules by not declaring interests, and has accepted almost £8,000 worth of free hospitality this summer for Euro 2020 games, Wimbledon and Royal Ascot.