Havering’s Conservatives are in disarray over Free School Meals. Marcus Rashford highlighted the fact of hunger during the summer holidays. Johnson rejected the request. Government policy was reversed and meals were provided. The issue came back to parliament for the October and Christmas holidays. On 21st October, Conservatives in parliament decisively rejected provision of Free School Meals. Shortly afterwards, Andrew Rosindell stoutly defended the government’s position, which Damian White rejected. Johnson then reversed government policy once more.
Andrew opposed free school meals during school holidays. Andrew’s reply to my blog said,
“Extending Free School Meals to over the school holidays would mean effectively handing over responsibility for feeding our kids from parents to the Government and I do not believe that this is right.”*
Damian, Conservative leader of Havering, wrote to me saying,
“The Covid crisis we are in continues to have significant impacts on vulnerable people and families in the borough and this is a sensible solution to a problem that is fundamentally about the wellbeing of our children.”**
Romford’s Conservatives are split on Free School Meals because it means higher taxation. It’s now known that most welfare beneficiaries are in work. Welfare payments are a subsidy for employers. Johnson’s flip-flopping illustrates an unpleasant truth, which is that welfare payments are too low for civilised living in Havering today.
* Andrew Rosindell Letter dated 27th October 2020
** Damian White Letter dated 27th October 2020
For the blog which Andrew replied to see https://havering.blog/2020/10/24/andrew-rosindell-and-the-free-school-meals-debate-21st-october-2020/e
For the parliamentary debate selected quotations see https://oedeboyz.com/2020/10/23/selected-quotes-the-free-school-meals-debate-21st-october-2020/