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Marcus Rashford's campaign to extend provision of free school meals not backed by any Suffolk MPs





None of Suffolk's MPs voted in favour of a bid to extend free school meals for the country's poorest pupils over the holidays.

All but one of Suffolk's MPs voted against the motion to feed more than 1.4 million children last night as it was rejected with a majority of 61.

A motion to extend free school meals into the holidays was voted down last night. Stock picture
A motion to extend free school meals into the holidays was voted down last night. Stock picture

Conservative member for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Dr Dan Poulter did not vote - but the rest of his Tory colleagues in Suffolk voted against the move.

The government has so far rejected a campaign - led by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford - to fund the provision of school meals during the half-term and Christmas breaks.

Activists argue that the extra provision is needed as the pandemic is contributing to increasing economic insecurity, with unemployment expected to spike during the disease's second wave.

Under the proposals, 1.4 million disadvantaged children in England would have been given £15-a-week food vouchers during the breaks between terms until Easter.

But the motion, tabled by Labour members, was defeated by 322 votes to 261.

A Conservative graphic shared on Twitter that stated the party is "supporting pupils in need".

It says they have backed free school meals for 1.4 million children from low-income families, a £9 billion spending boost for the welfare system and £63 million to help councils

Reacting to the news, Rashford said on Twitter: "Put aside all the noise, the digs, the party politics and let's focus on the reality.

"A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter because of comments that have been made today.

A campaign was spearheaded by Manchester United player Marcus Rashford. Photo: PA (42814708)
A campaign was spearheaded by Manchester United player Marcus Rashford. Photo: PA (42814708)

"We must stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers. Our views are being clouded by political affiliation.

"This is not politics, this is humanity.

"1.5 million children have little to no access to food resources due to the two-child Universal Credit cap.

"Nobody is pointing fingers, I’m asking we work together to protect our most vulnerable children dealing with the devastating effects of the pandemic. This is nothing to do with politics."

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