Tory MPs voted against an offer to extend a program that provides free school meals for eligible children during school vacations, inspired by a memorable campaign by Manchester United and English soccer star Marcus Rashford.
The government has come under fire after voting against extending free school meals in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tory MPs voted against extending free school meals during school vacations
Southport MP Damien Moore yesterday voted against the introduction of an 80 percent leave program for workers in his own constituency.
However, an extension of the scheme was refused.
The government had already made a dramatic U-turn in June, announcing a one-off fund of £120 million to benefit some 1.3 million children in England during the six-week summer break, after the striker had spoken out and exerted enormous public pressure.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said Conservatives voted to starve the more than 1.4 million children entitled to free school meals over the holidays.
The region’s only Conservative MP also refused to support the motion to offer free school meals during school breaks to children from low-income families.
Labour’s motion, which called for an extension of the school vacation scheme until Easter 2021, was defeated by 261 votes to 322, a majority of 61 votes.
“I have voted to ensure that workers in need in the restricted areas receive 80% of their income. The Tories voted against. That is all you need to know.”
She tweeted: “Tonight I voted to feed the vulnerable and needy children of our country. The Tories voted to let them starve.
The Labour MP for Nottingham East Nadia Whittome also attacked the Conservatives.
She added: “Rishi Sunak spent 500 million pounds on the Eat Out to Help Out program. Providing free school meals for a week costs around £20 million. There is money for nando’s at half price, but there is no money to feed the children?”
“I don’t know how the 322 Tory MPs will sleep tonight. Because I can’t, because I know that 1.4 million children like Cameron will be starving this Christmas,” she said, referring to a boy who appeared in a documentary she shared.
Former Secretary of Labor Dame Joan Ruddock tweeted: “I don’t understand how Tory MPs can justify denying the children of the poorest families a proper meal every day of the holidays. It is well known that school meals are essential for the health and well-being of these children and there is no substitute for them. They WILL be hungry – such cruelty”.
Munira Wilson, the Liberal Democrats’ spokeswoman for health and social care, twittered: “It would be extremely unfair if this government allowed children to go hungry this winter, especially in the middle of a pandemic. I urged the government to follow the example of Lib Dem Edu Minister Kirsty Williams in Wales and extend £FreeSchoolMeals over the school vacations.
Richard Burgon of the Labour Party said that the Tories had shown that they did not care that children were starving.