Andrea Jenkyns MP describes sugar tax as a ‘regressive’ policy

Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood. Picture Bruce Rollinson
Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Two Yorkshire MPs have outlined how they feel the state has interfered in people’s health to an extent where it has become overbearing.

Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood and Shipley MP Philip Davies appeared on a panel at a Conservative Party conference fringe event yesterday called Just Say No (to the Nanny State) run by the Adam Smith Institute.

Ms Jenkyns hit out at the sugar tax, which when it was introduced last year meant manufacturers were charged a levy on the high-sugar drinks they sell, forcing price rises.

She said: “I was on the Health Select Committee in 2015, when we brought about the sugar tax. I was one of only two MPs who opposed it.

“My view was why introduce a regressive tax? It hits the poorest, what we really should be doing is actually not pandering to these lobby groups and London-central do-gooders. It should be about better education, better labelling, and what about parental choice, parental responsibility?

“Why do we never put it back on to the parents any more?”

Ms Jenkyns said experts who recommended policies seen as interfering with people’s lives often got it wrong, giving the example of the advice to not have any fats.

She said: “Look at Tom Watson, the Labour Party MP, I want to follow his diet because he’s lost tonnes of weight by having these strong coffees with butter in them, so experts don’t always get it right.

“The only nanny I want in my life is the one that looks after my two year old.”