World News – GB – Sturgeon marks school lunch debate ‘breathtaking’ as Tory MPs vote against plan


England football star Marcus Rashford has launched a campaign to extend free school meals during the holidays, but MEPs voted against the idea

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Nicola Sturgeon called debate on extending free school meals in England « staggering »

The Prime Minister weighed in the debate in the House of Commons as Tory MPs sought to craft a Labor Party motion to allow poor children to be fed during the holiday season

An angry Mrs Sturgeon said the debate was ‘breathtaking’ and assured the Scottish government had already planned to continue free school meals for the upcoming holidays

She wrote: « Some of the quotes from Conservative MPs in the free school lunch debate are truly mind-boggling – feeding hungry children is tantamount to ‘nationalizing’ them, this one says ?!

« The Scottish government has already pledged to fund free school meals during the upcoming Christmas, February and Easter holidays »

England football star Marcus Rashford has launched a campaign to extend free school meals during holidays south of the border

He wrote on Twitter: « As long as they don’t have a voice, they will have mine »

He released a statement after Labor’s motion, which called for the program to be extended during school holidays until Easter 2021, was defeated by 261 votes to 322 – majority 61

Downing Street has ruled out making a late U-turn before the vote, with Boris Johnson also answering the PM’s questions: « We support low-income children in school and we will continue to do so

« But the most important thing is to keep them in school and not tear them up in another national lockdown kicking them out of school

« We will continue to use the benefit system and all income systems to support children throughout the holidays as well »

Brendan Clarke-Smith (Bassetlaw), Conservative backbench MP, opposed Labor’s proposal, saying he did not believe in « nationalizing children »

He told the Commons: « And we need to focus on breaking the cycle where the first reaction is to look to the state

« It’s a vicious cycle, and we need to support families with early intervention and help with things like budgeting and employment

« The welfare state is there, and rightly so, as a safety net, but it is not necessarily a replacement

« Where’s the clever PR campaign that encourages absent parents to take some responsibility for their children?

“Instead, we need to get back to the idea of ​​taking responsibility, which means less reporting of celebrity virtue on Twitter vicariously and more action to tackle the real causes of the child poverty « 

Conservative David Simmonds (Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner) also said: « What about the opposition’s priorities where all of their interests are simply swept aside in favor of wealth and power and celebrity status, spending taxpayers « money to be made with celebrity status, wealth and power

« Now I have no doubt that M Rashford is an expert in his own experience, but we must not forget that the experiences he so poignantly described took place under a Labor government then supposedly at the peak of its powers to tackle child poverty in this country « 

Conservative MP Miriam Cates (Penistone and Stocksbridge) said a school holiday food stamp program would never be more than ‘sticky plaster’ to tackle child poverty

Conservative Minister Paul Scully also told the BBC that « children have suffered from hunger under a Labor government for years » and insisted the government was tackling the problem

But Conservative Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons Special Committee on Education, urged the government to continue providing meals during the holidays as the coronavirus crisis continued and called on ministers to work with Rashford

Reacting to the vote, Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said: « Boris Johnson and the Tories have let down over a million children and their families

« No child should go hungry on vacation, but government is blocking action needed to prevent this

« We pay tribute to Marcus Rashford and others for shining the spotlight on this extremely important issue

Nicola Sturgeon, School Meal, School

World News – GB – Sturgeon calls school lunch debate « staggering » as Conservative MPs vote against plan



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