A Tory MP has quit her government job after voting in favour of a Labour motion to offer free school meals during holidays until Easter 2021.
Caroline Ansell, the newly-elected MP for Eastbourne, was one of five Conservative MPs who rebelled against their party by voting for the motion last night.
The last ditch attempt to see the free school meal scheme extended over the school holidays was rejected by 322 votes to 261.
Ms Ansell stepped down as parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, saying:
“In these unprecedented times I am very concerned to be doing all we can to help lower income families and their children who are really struggling due to the impact of the virus.”
She added that food vouchers were “not perfect” arguing that it is better to link meals to activities so children “can also benefit from extra-curricular learning and experience”.
Read her full statement below: