The MP for Loughborough REFUSED Marcus Rashford’s Free School Meal amendment

Jane Hunt MP opposed the amendment meaning 1.4 million children in the UK will no longer get free school meals

Over the past few weeks, the government has come under increasing pressure to extend the current support for the poorest children during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crescendoing in a viral petition that was signed by over 300,000 people, a bill was readied for debate in parliament. Spearheading the move was footballer Marcus Rashford along with a plethora of child poverty activists and also some prominent Labour figures. The Bill was passed into law which got Rashford his MBE, but the support offered by this act is soon to expire.

On the 21st, an amendment to the act was debated in parliament from around 5PM. The debate lasted less than two hours and culminated in the government shrugging off Labour’s plea to help the poorest in society. The government voted down the proposal. 322 Tory MPs voted against the ammendment whereas 261, made up mainly of Labour and SNP voted for it. There were five exceptions that went against the Tory party whip. The amendment would have extended the support for the poorest children in society; allowing free school meals for them until mid 2021.

The MP for Loughborough Jane Hunt was one of the 322 Tory MPs that voted against the ammendment that would have prevented the 1.4 million deprived children in the UK going hungry.

Labour’s plan was to extend the current scheme until April 2021. The former Labour candidate for Loughborough, Stuart Brady, gave the following statement to the Tab Loughborough: “At this time when the country should be coming together to protect vulnerable children and families, voting against measures to address holiday hunger shows a complete lack of care and compassion.” 

“Labour supports the extension of free school meals in holidays as we cannot allow children to go hungry.”

Hunt said earlier this week in a statement to concerned constituents that: “The Government recognises that these are difficult times for families. It is important that we do not take a narrow view of this support, and, instead, see it in its wider context.”

Jane Hunt did not respond to The Loughborough Tab’s requests for comment.