WHILE Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols has described the actions of the MPs who voted against a Labour motion to extend Free School Meals last month as ‘shameful,’ her Warrington South counterpart Andy Carter says new funding goes well beyond the voucher scheme.
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “u-turn” over the weekend Ms Nichols called on MPs who voted against extending free school meal vouchers to reflect on their actions and to “apologise profusely.”
The debate was precipitated by a campaign led Marcus Rashford and the Child Food Poverty Taskforce which forced a Government U-Turn on meals for the summer holidays. Labour then put a motion to the House of Commons calling on the Government to do so for the most recent Half Term, which was voted down by 322 to 261.
Nichols voted in favour of the motion and in her speech referenced the 4,500 children in Warrington North who are eligible for Free School Meals, as well as praising the work of local food banks such as Warrington Foodbank, Friends of Meadowside and The Station House Foodbank.
In response to the U-Turn over the weekend Ms Nichols MP said: “I welcome this move, which will have a life-changing impact for so many children and families in Warrington North.
“Marcus Rashford deserves tremendous praise for leading this campaign and setting the agenda on this crucial issue.
“I call on all of the MPs who voted against the motion last month to reflect on their actions and apologise profusely to all of the children on Free School Meals. The way they behaved is shameful and the British people deserve far better.”
But Warrington South MP Andy Carter responded: “Labour Politicians seem to have completely forgotten that the Government gave £63 million earlier in the year to support vulnerable families, £215,000 specifically to Warrington council to be spent between August and the end of October including half-term”.
“The announcement over the weekend goes well beyond vouchers for free school meals, adapting to the extraordinary circumstances due to Covid. Warrington Council will receive £581,643 to deliver targeted help to both children who are at school and those who are yet to start school, councils are well placed to deliver this support to disadvantaged children and families”.