Plates criticising free school meals vote placed outside Norfolk MP’s office

Plates placed outside MP Duncan Baker’s Office at Tudor House in North Walsham in protest of the gov

Plates placed outside MP Duncan Baker’s Office at Tudor House in North Walsham in protest of the government's vote against the extension of the free school meal system. Picture: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

Dozens of plates have been placed outside the offices of a Norfolk MP in protest of his vote against extending free school meals to pupils during the holidays.

Plates placed outside conservative MP Duncan Baker’s Office at Tudor House in North Walsham in prote

Plates placed outside conservative MP Duncan Baker’s Office at Tudor House in North Walsham in protest of the government's vote against the extension of the free school meal system. Picture: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

Earlier this month Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, was one of nine conservative MPs in the county to vote against a Labour party motion to extend free school meals until next Easter.

The campaign had received extensive attention after being backed by Marcus Rashford MBE, a footballer for Manchester United and England.

The vote led to Conservative MPs who voted against the extension being subjected to a raft of criticism from campaigners and opposition MPs.

Now, in a further display of anger at the result, dozens of plates have been placed outside Mr Baker’s offices in North Walsham.

Jeanne Heal, who took part in the protest outside Duncan Baker's office. Picture: Karen Bethell

Jeanne Heal, who took part in the protest outside Duncan Baker's office. Picture: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant


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The plates, many of which displayed messages of criticism were placed outside the MP’s office on Thursday, October 29, after which they were collected and delivered directly to his office staff.

The organisers of the protest, who included Mandy McKenna said they felt many in Mr Baker’s constituency had been disappointed by how the MP had voted.

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Giving their reasons for the protest they said: “Had the government voted for this it would have saved struggling families not having to worry about the additional cost of putting a lunch on the table as well as breakfast and dinner over the half term holiday.

“Charities, business and the local community have had to step into the breach and provided assistance when they are having a difficult time too due to Covid.”

Plates placed outside MP Duncan Baker’s Office at Tudor House in North Walsham in protest of the gov

Plates placed outside MP Duncan Baker’s Office at Tudor House in North Walsham in protest of the government's vote against the extension of the free school meal system. Picture: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

Ms Mckenna said aside from the physical plates and messages in the protest, the organisers had received dozens of messages of support.

She said: “We also had many heartfelt personal messages sent by email from people working or unable to get there.”

Following the free school meals vote, one of Mr Baker’s constituents challenged him to explain why he had not supported the motion, in reply he wrote a 1,000 word response.

In the letter, Mr Baker said he has been “genuinely enormously torn over” the decision to vote down the extension, and had debated the issue at length with colleagues.

Duncan Baker, north Norfolk MP. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Duncan Baker, north Norfolk MP. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

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