MPs have reacted with fury this morning as pictures of paltry free school meals surfaced on social media.
Chartwells, part of Compass Group, were given the contract to supply emergency packages to families who would usually rely on free school meals as children were forced to learn from home.
The group’s former chairman, Paul Walsh, was once a member of David Cameron’s business advisory group and a Conservative Party donor.
It raises questions once again over cronyism within the party which has blighted their pandemic response.
But as Ian Lavery, the MP for Wansbeck, says, this one “really takes the biscuit”.
Not only are children being denied a proper meal but the taxpayer is being ripped off. This pandemic has exposed the crisis of crony capitalism where the only criteria for govt contracts is how much you give to the Tories.— Ian Lavery MP (@IanLaveryMP) January 12, 2021
This shameful govt literally ‘takes the biscuit’. pic.twitter.com/5Bt4CZWQ5I
He joined a number of high profile MPs who have hit out at the measly food packages being given to parents which are supposed to be £30 in value.
Claudia Webbe, the MP for Leicester East, said “is nothing spared from their greed? Not even child hunger?”, while Richard Burgon said “hunger is being used as a financial opportunity”.
It is morally repugnant that Tories are facilitating profit making from free school meal provision.— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) January 11, 2021
Is nothing spared from their greed? Not even child hunger?
This is supposed to be £30 worth of lunches for a child?— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) January 12, 2021
It looks like yet another case of the government helping its corporate friends become parasites of the pandemic.
Hunger is being used as a financial opportunity. Squeezing extra profit from hungry kids.
It must stop. pic.twitter.com/EW4OCcYu2r
Elsewhere prominent food critic Jay Rayner pointed to Chartwell’s profile statement which reads: “Nourishing young bodies and minds with exceptional food and learning.”
Judging by today’s picture that seems to be far from the truth.