School meals: Pressure mounts on government to reverse decision

Pressure is mounting on the government to reverse its decision not to provide free school meals over the holidays in England.

Several Conservative MPs are opposing No 10’s stance, as Labour threatens to push for another Commons vote and some 2,000 doctors call for a U-turn.

It comes as the PM faces calls to meet with footballer Marcus Rashford to discuss his free school meals campaign.

The government has said it has increased welfare support.

Downing Street has also highlighted tens of millions of pounds in funding for councils to help vulnerable families during the pandemic.

But there is increasing criticism from within Tory ranks over the government’s decision to rule out extending meal vouchers for around 1.3 million vulnerable children in England to cover holidays.

Former Tory children’s minister Tim Loughton, who did not support Labour’s motion, said he would lobby ministers to reverse the decision for the Christmas break.

And Tobias Ellwood, a former defence minister, said the free school meals scheme was “well received” and a “simple and practical” way of supporting families.

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