North East UK news Conservative MPs tell of abuse they've received in free school meals row MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - 'I have had threats of violence which have been distressing to myself, my family and to my staff', one MP said

North East UK news Conservative MPs tell of abuse they've received in free school meals row MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - 'I have had threats of violence which have been distressing to myself, my family and to my staff', one MP said

North East UK news  Conservative MPs tell of abuse they've received in free school meals row MetiNews.Com
27 October 2020 - 10:00

Breaking News ! North East Conservative MPs have spoken about abuse and threats they received following last week's free school meals vote. The majority of Tories voted against a Labour proposal to provide food vouchers over the half term and Christmas breaks for children eligible for free school meals. They argue that the Government has provided funding to help low-income households, including £63 million nationwide for local councils to provide food and a £1,000 one-off increase in Universal Credit. But following the vote, they have been accused of allowing children to go hungry over Christmas - and some Conservative MPs say that as well as legitimate criticism they have faced abuse and threats. Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy said: "Politics involves disagreements on a daily basis but what has happened over the past few days has not been acceptable. I have had threats of violence which have been distressing to myself, my family and to my staff. "What is particularly sad is this has undoubtedly been politically motivated and orchestrated with the vast majority of offensive comments and threats from people living outside of Blyth Valley." Along with a number of Conservative MPs, he has welcomed suggestions from Government Ministers that there will be further action to ensure children have enough to eat. "The issue of free school meal provision in holidays clearly does need further debate and there is plenty of time ahead of Christmas to do that. But that does have to take place in a reasonable manner whether it is in the House of Commons or on social media." Sedgefield MP Paul Howell said: "We've had a lot, but to be fair the vast majority of it has come from people that we know that would always criticise anything we did - if I gave £1,000 they'd want to know why it wasn't £1,500. This is always part of politics." Some Conservative MPs privately said that Downing Street should have predicted the issue would attract public attention. It follows a Commons vote on a motion presented to Parliament by the Labour Party, and it is standard practice for Conservatives to vote against opposition motions, just as Labour MPs did when they were in power and the Tories were in opposition. Read More Related Articles Newcastle United Foundation delivers food parcels to struggling families during half-term Read More Related Articles How many free school meals could be bought with Dominic Cummings' unpaid council tax bill Such votes rarely attract media coverage but this has been an exception, partly because Labour's proposals were backed by footballer Marcus Rashford, who was awarded the MBE in October after his campaign forced the Government to U-turn over providing vouchers during this year's summer holidays. Boris Johnson hinted the Government would make an announcement about new measures to ensure children have enough to eat, as he insisted the Government will not allow children to go hungry.

. Downing Street hinted that Chancellor Rishi Sunak could announce extra support next month, pointing to comments from Health Secretary Matt Hancock that “the spending review sets out any future funding on behalf of the Government”. The next Spending Review, a major statement made by the Chancellor to the Commons, is due in November. Businesses, community groups and councils – including Tory-run administrations – have provided thousands of free meals for children as schools in large parts of England began their October half-term holiday. A petition from Mr Rashford, calling for free meals to be extended in England over the school holidays, has attracted almost 900,000 signatures, piling pressure on the Government to act. Manchester United star Rashford has used his social media profile to highlight examples of businesses that have pledged to help with meals for local children. “Those who have rallied around our communities, please continue to do so, you are the real pride of Britain,” he said. Rashford’s club, in partnership with the Manchester United Foundation and the charity FareShare, will provide around 5,000 meals from the Old Trafford kitchens to children from local schools. Rashford’s campaign also received backing from Henry Dimbleby, the Leon chain co-founder and head of the Government-commissioned National Food Strategy. The Government’s social mobility watchdog also supported Mr Rashford, saying 600,000 more children were in poverty than in 2012. “We believe the Government should do all it can to start reversing that trend,” a Social Mobility Commission spokesman said. “It should begin by ensuring that all children are properly fed.” Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer has sought to exploit the disarray in the Conservative ranks by confirming Labour will force another Commons vote on the issue if ministers do not relent in time for the Christmas holidays. Tory former minister Tobias Ellwood told Today it would be “churlish” not to act, adding: “The pandemic has been tough, difficult winter ahead, let’s make sure we have a programme in place which all parties can agree with.” Anger about the Government’s approach has threatened to boil over in some parts of the country.

Source = MetiNews.Com

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North East UK news Conservative MPs tell of abuse they've received in free school meals row MetiNews.Com


North East UK news Conservative MPs tell of abuse they've received in free school meals row MetiNews.Com


North East UK news Conservative MPs tell of abuse they've received in free school meals row MetiNews.Com


North East UK news Conservative MPs tell of abuse they've received in free school meals row MetiNews.Com

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