Government food czar resigns with blast at ‘insane’ Tories failure to tackle obesity

Lyon’s co-founder Henry Dimbleby says the Tories were refusing to clamp down on the fast food industry because of its obsession with ‘too free market ideology’ – and risked stockpiling problems for the NHS

Former government food czar Henry Dimbleby(David Hartley/REX/Shutterstock)
The government food czar resigned with an outburst at the governor’s “insane” inaction against obesity.

Lyons co-founder Henry Dimbleby said the conservatives refuse to clamp down on the fast food industry because of their obsession with “too free-market ideology”.

“There is a concern that dealing with these issues could be seen as a ‘nanny state’ and play badly in ‘red wall’ circles,” he told The Sunday Times.

“This is not the case, in fact, but there is a concern that we need to celebrate the wonderful British diets of fish and chips, curry and beer and that junk food is somehow patriotic.”

Dimbleby, a staunch advocate for free school meals more widely, resigned from his post at the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs last week after five years in the job.

The government has been accused of failing to address the nation’s diet(Dazeley/Getty)

It comes after he published the National Food Strategy in 2021 that called for free school meals for all Universal Credit Program families and recommended a “snack tax” on foods high in sugar and salt to encourage manufacturers to make foods healthier.

But Boris Johnson abandoned most of the recommendations when his government published a white paper on food the following year.