Opposition figures have savaged the Government after Tory MPs voted against footballer Marcus Rashford’s bid to have free school meals for eligible children extended through the coming holidays.
Labour’s motion, which called for the scheme to be extended over school holidays until Easter 2021, was defeated by 261 votes to 322 – majority 61.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said the Conservatives had voted to let the more than 1.4 million children eligible for free school meals go hungry through the holidays.
“Tonight I voted to feed our country’s vulnerable and needy children. The Tories voted to let them go hungry,” she tweeted, adding: “I voted for workers facing hardship in areas under lockdown to get 80% of their incomes. The Tories voted against it. That’s all you need to know.”
Labour MP for Nottingham East Nadia Whittome also attacked the Conservatives.
“I don’t know how the 322 Tory MPs are sleeping tonight. Because I can’t, knowing that 1.4 million children like Cameron will go hungry this Christmas,” she said, referring to a boy featured in a documentary she shared.
Here are just some opposition politician’s responses to the Government voting down the plan.
This morning on Sky News Minister for Crime and Policing minister Kit Malthouse was questioned on the Government’s refusal to feed poor children and if they had ganged up on Marcus Rashford.
Kay Burley asked why the whips were telling MPs to “gang-up” on Rashford, he replied “I haven’t been told to gang up on [Marcus Rashford].”
Mr Malthouse then said: “I don’t think it’s necessarily ganging up.
“It’s standard practice during any debates for political parties to issue briefs with suggested lines.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily against footballers, right, but quite a lot of this debate takes place on Twitter now so I don’t think it’s particularly remarkable.
“MPs have to make their own decisions – I didn’t see that – MPs have to make their own decisions about what they say publicly.”