Therese Coffey tells Brits hit by the tomato crisis to eat turnips instead

Alamy Live News. 2M7JXT2 London, UK. 10th Jan, 2023. Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting. Credit: Mark Thomas/Alamy Live News This is an Alamy Live News image and may not be part of your current Alamy deal . If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to check.

FOOD supply minister Therese Coffey has suggested families hit by the tomato crisis should eat turnips instead.

And she warned shortages of some fresh produce could last another month.

Therese Coffey has suggested Brits hit by the tomato crisis should eat turnips instead

The Environment Secretary was soon mocked as a veggie version of Marie Antoinette — the last Queen of France — who is famed for the line “Let them eat cake” during food shortages which sparked the French Revolution.

Yesterday, in a speech which would have thrilled Blackadder’s turnip-loving buffoon Baldrick, Ms Coffey, left, told the Commons: “A lot of people would be eating turnips now, rather than thinking necessarily about lettuce and tomatoes, but I’m conscious consumers want a year-round choice and that’s what our supermarkets and growers try to satisfy.”

Moments after her speech, “Let them eat turnips” memes started circulating on Twitter.

Lee Stiles, of Lea Valley Growers Association, called her “the Alan Partridge of farmer relationships — without the humour”.

A day earlier, the minister was booed by farmers at the National Farmers’ Union for saying she “couldn’t control the weather in Spain”.

Supermarket chains Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi have put buying limits on customers amid the salad supplies crisis.

Retailers have blamed disrupted harvests in Spain, Morocco and North Africa.

Ms Coffey also came under fire for suggesting families struggling with food bills could “work more hours” to boost their income.