Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey will use a visit to Nadine Dorries’ constituency to demand greater action on food price inflation as analysis from his party claims the cost of a typical weekly shop has risen 37% in two years.
Sir Ed said people in the Mid Bedfordshire constituency struggling with the cost of living are being “badly let down” by Ms Dorries, who announced in June that she would give up the seat but has yet to formally resign.
The Liberal Democrat leader accused the Conservative former minister and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of being “missing in action” while people suffer with “soaring” food prices.
Analysis by the Lib Dems shows the price of what the party describes as a typical weekly shop has increased by 37% in two years, which they said would add around £870 a year to a family’s food bill.
The party’s price comparison is based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, and looks at 16 items including beef mince, tea and coffee, butter, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, oranges and bananas.
Sir Ed is due to visit high street shops in Ampthill on Wednesday where his party says he will meet business owners and people being affected by the rising cost of living, in what the Lib Dems say is his third visit to the constituency since Ms Dorries said she would resign.
Sir Ed said: “Families and pensioners in Mid Bedfordshire are suffering badly from soaring food prices as the cost of the weekly shop goes through the roof, but Nadine Dorries and Rishi Sunak are missing in action.
“Instead of helping, this Conservative government has made this cost-of-living crisis worse with all their constant chaos. Local people are understandably furious that they are being so badly let down by an absent MP and an out-of-touch Conservative government.”
He said his party’s candidate for the area, councillor Emma Holland-Lindsay “will be the proper local champion that communities in Mid Bedfordshire deserve”.
Ms Holland-Lindsay said the Conservatives had taken people and businesses in the area “for granted” and called for greater support for local high streets and independent shops.
On Monday, Shefford Town Council in Mid Bedfordshire joined Flitwick Town Council in expressing frustration over what they see as a “continuing lack of representation” from their local MP.
In a letter published on Twitter, now known as X, the council raised concerns about her limited involvement in local events and services and highlighted that Ms Dorries’ last contribution in the House of Commons was made in June 2022.
Ms Dorries made public her decision to give up the role on June 9 this year, but reversed course a week later and announced her intention to remain in office temporarily, citing the need to investigate the reasons behind her exclusion from a seat in the House of Lords.