BRADFORD East MP Imran Hussain has invited the Chancellor of the Exchequer to his constituency to see areas of poverty first hand after the minister denied that there are millions of people living in dire poverty in Britain.

Philip Hammond made the controversial statement during an interview on BBC’s Newsnight after a report by the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights which found abject levels of poverty in the UK.

He declared that he rejected the idea that there are vast numbers of people facing dire poverty in the UK, stating that it was “nonsense”.

The report by Professor Philip Alston found that one in five of the British population totalling around 14 million people were living in poverty, with 1.5 million experiencing destitution in 2017.

He claimed that the Government’s austerity policies were to blame.

In Mr Hussain’s constituency of Bradford East, figures produced by the End Child Poverty Campaign for 2017/18 found that almost half of children are growing up in poverty after housing costs are taken into consideration, rising on figures from two years ago.

Writing to the Chancellor, Mr Hussain said the figures are also borne out by the number of constituents in truly dire situations who contact him for help after becoming trapped in poverty, and by the increase in foodbank usage in Bradford.

He wrote: "What is most striking is the proportion in poverty who are actually in work.

"Having seen the devastating impact of poverty in my constituency, with despairing parents telling me that they have to choose between heating or eating, whilst struggling to pay their rent and other bills, and teachers telling me of the number of pupils coming to school underfed and in worn-out clothes, it is clear that your comments are woefully out-of-touch with the daily reality of the situation around poverty."

He declared that the comments on Newsnight were “at odds with the findings of the UN rapporteur”, which leaves the Chancellor “dangerously complacent about the scale and damage of poverty in Bradford and across the UK”.

He invited him to visit Bradford to see the real-world impact of austerity policies and poverty.

Mr Hussain added: “These comments by the Chancellor expose just how out of touch this Tory Government is with the lives of ordinary people across the country. Poverty has run rampant following ideological austerity cuts that have run down vital services, and it’s clear the Chancellor is incapable of accepting there is problem, let alone tackling it, leaving people to suffer as he continues to turn a blind eye.

“During his interview, the Chancellor told us to ‘look around’ and that poverty is ‘not what we see in this country’, so with almost half of children in Bradford East growing up in poverty, many in households where parents are actually in work, I want to invite him to come and look around Bradford, and see for himself the scale and damage of the poverty that his Government has imposed upon us.”