Free school meals: How did my MP vote after Marcus Rashford’s plea was defeated in Parliament?
The bid, tabled by Labour to give each disadvantaged child a £15 a week food voucher, was defeated by 322 votes to 261 – with a majority of 61.
The Manchester United striker, who forced the Government into an embarrassing U-turn in the summer, told his 3.5million Twitter followers children would go to bed “not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter”.
“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,” he said.
Rashford, 22, who became an MBE this month , appealed to MPs to put aside their differences, adding: “This is not politics, this is humanity.
Marcus Rashford spoke of his
“We talk about the devastating impact of COVID-19 but, if projections are anything to go by, child food poverty has the potential to become the greatest pandemic the country has ever faced. We must start working together and unite to protect our most vulnerable children.”
Before the vote the 22-year-old tweeted about his “despair” that politicians were are using the topic of child food poverty to “one-up each other”.
Downing Street ruled out performing a late U-turn ahead of the vote, with Boris Johnson also telling Prime Minister’s Questions: “We support kids on low incomes in school and we will continue to do so.
“But the most important thing is to keep them in school and not tear off into another national lockdown taking them out of school. We will continue to use the benefits system and all the systems of income to support children throughout the holidays as well.”
Tory MP Miriam Cates (Penistone and Stocksbridge) said a food voucher scheme over the school holidays would only ever be a “sticking plaster” for tackling child poverty. Tory minister Paul Scully also told the BBC that “children have been going hungry under a Labour government for years” and insisted the Government had been tackling the issue.
But Conservative Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons Education Select Committee, urged the Government to continue providing meals over the holidays while the coronavirus crisis was ongoing and called on ministers to work with Rashford.
Have a look below to find out how your MP voted on the issue.
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