On Wednesday 21st October Ruth Cadbury MP voted for a motion in the House of Commons which would have provided free school meals during the holidays throughout the October half term and through to Easter. This would have provided 1.4 million children living in poverty with much needed free meals.
This motion was however defeated by the Government, with 322 MPs voting against and 261 voting in favour.
Speaking afterwards Ruth said:
‘‘I was proud to be one of the 261 MPs who voted to ensure that millions of children would have access to free school meals over the holidays. I want to thank Marcus Rashford and all those campaigning across the country for this this important campaign.
Sadly in an act of heartlessness that is becoming too common for this Government, the Government voted against this.
It’s shocking that they would do so in the middle of a pandemic when families across the country are struggling.
Here in Hounslow I know how tough it has been for many families; over 3,000 children are eligible for free school meals in our constituency alone. I also know many people have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Universal Credit barely or doesn’t even cover the cost of renting in West London. This is why it’s vital that the Government acts.
In the past few days it’s been inspiring to see charities, businesses and community groups across the country stepping in to provide much needed support with meals. Locally groups such as the Open Kitchen and Hounslow Foodbox have done amazing work to support local families.
However in 2020 we should not have to rely on charity alone- the Government has a moral duty to step in.
I will keep campaigning on this issue and standing up for families across our constituency.’’
Notes to Editors
- On Wednesday 21st October Ruth Cadbury MP voted for a motion from the Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer which called on the Government to continue funding free school meals in the holidays through to the Easter half-term. This motion was defeated by 322 votes to 261. The full vote can be found here.