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Christian MP pushes bill for free child meals during holidays

Wed 30 Aug 2017
By Eno Adeogun

A Christian Labour MP has received support from more than 100 MPs from across the political parties backing a bill to fund free lunches for children from poor backgrounds during the school holidays.

The Private Members Bill published on Wednesday by Christian Labour MP Frank Field for Birkenhead was also supported by high-profile Conservative MPs such as Nicky Morgan.

Around one million pupils receive meals during term time but there are concerns for struggling families during school breaks.

Mr Field told Premier more about the inspiration behind the proposal.

He said: "The bill is to build on the very best practice that we have say in Birkenhead or in London or elsewhere, to ensure that this holiday is that last summer holiday where children are hungry."

Mr Field said that while the issue isn't new, it is the first time a bill has been presented to tackle it.

He said: "Amazingly it has been a growing problem; amazingly it's not been a measure voluntary bodies... counter this issue, this horror, this evil or hunger amongst young children."

According to Mr Field, the bill hasn't received any opposition even from politicians that often oppose private members bills.
 
He said: "The plea therefore is for Mrs May to concentrate on Brexit, except you're a minority government and... that the government will keep a watchful eye, careful eye, protective eye on the progress of these bills.

"It would clearly change a place in Mrs May's history, knowing that this would be looked back on as one of the great social reforms and that she was getting on with Brexit and that she left it to her backbenchers and opposition backbenchers to score this reform for her - to abolish hunger everywhere in the UK for school children during holidays."

The bill will be introduced when parliament is back in session next week on 5th September.

Listen to Labour MP Frank Field speaking with Premier's Cara Bentley:


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