Majority of Norfolk and Waveney MPs vote against free school meals extension
PUBLISHED: 11:25 22 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:34 22 October 2020
The majority of Norfolk’s MPs have voted against a motion to extend free school meals until next Easter.
A vote was held on Wednesday evening following a motion by the Labour Party.
The motion was lost by 322 votes to 261 - a majority of 61.
In Norfolk and Waveney, Conservative MPs Peter Aldous, Richard Bacon, Duncan Baker, Therese Coffey, George Freeman, Brandon Lewis, Jerome Mayhew, Chloe Smith, and James Wild voted against the motion.
South West Norfolk Tory MP Elizabeth Truss was missing from the voting list, while Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis’ vote in favour of the motion was cast in proxy by fellow Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle.
England football star Marcus Rashford, who was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his free school meal campaign, has vowed to keep fighting.
Reacting to the vote, the Manchester United and England striker said: “Put aside all the noise, the digs, the party politics and let’s focus on the reality.
“A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter because of comments that have been made today.
“We must stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers. Our views are being clouded by political affiliation.
“This is not politics, this is humanity.”
The player added that child food poverty “has the potential to become the greatest pandemic the country has ever faced”.
He said: “We must start working together and unite to protect our most vulnerable children. No more sticking plasters. Let’s face this head on.
“I don’t have the education of a politician, many on Twitter have made that clear today, but I have a social education having lived through this and having spent time with the families and children most affected.
“These children matter. These children are the future of this country. They are not just another statistic. And for as long as they don’t have a voice, they will have mine. You have my word on that.”
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