Chicken magnate Ranjit Boparan has been told off by the head of a parliamentary committee for sending MPs unsolicited Christmas biscuits – with an alleged total retail value of around £20.
Boparan is chief executive of Wakefield-based 2 Sisters Food Group, which makes a wide variety of food products, including Fox's Biscuits and Goodfella's Pizza – although Boparan is known as the “Chicken King” because of his extensive poultry interests.
Neil Parish, chairman of the environment, food, and rural affairs committee, said the gifts to several MPs were an “inappropriate gesture” and an “unwarranted attempt to impugn the Committee’s impartiality.”
Parish asked Boparan to “respect the integrity and independence of the committee and avoid similar gestures in future”, in a letter published on the committee’s website.
2 Sisters has responded formally to the MP, but said they were a "goodwill gesture" sent to "hundreds of external stakeholders", including customers, suppliers, and community organisations.
The gifts contained eight packets of Fox's and Own Brand biscuits, as well as two more tins of Fox's. The value of the tins in shops is around £3, and the total package has a retail value of around £20, according to 2 Sisters. However, Labour MP Paul Flynn told the Telegraph the total retail value was closer to £100.
All of the gifts were donated to charity or returned to the sender, the letter noted.
Boparan and his wife Baljinder are the sole shareholders of Boparan Holdings, the holding company for 2 Sisters Food Group, which he founded in 1993. Notable acquisitions by the firm include Northern Foods and Brookes Avana in 2011, while in 2016 the Chicken King gobbled up well known turkey business Bernard Matthews.