Marcus Rashford’s plea to extend the government’s free school meal voucher scheme throughout the summer holidays will be discussed in Parliament this afternoon.
The Manchester United footballer’s open letter to MPs calling for a U-turn on the plan to halt the scheme at the end of this term was rejected by the government yesterday.
But Rashford, who emotionally recalled his childhood in Wythenshawe is his letter , said he was not giving up and is putting more pressure on MPs today as they meet to discuss the future of the scheme.
Rashford’s letter won widespread support and praise from the public, politicians and fellow sports stars and in a series of tweets today he said: “When you head to the fridge to grab the milk, stop and recognise that parents of at least 200,000 children across the country this morning are waking up to empty shelving, recognise children around the country are this morning innocently questioning ‘why?’
“Nine out of 30 children in any given classroom are today asking ‘why?’ Why does our future not matter?”
Come on @BorisJohnson, you can assist this wonderful young man in scoring the most important goal of his life. Food for hungry children should be the easiest pass you’ll ever make. #maketheUturn https://t.co/UzS0gPms2e
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 16, 2020
We’re with you 🤜🏿 https://t.co/DdvImJl4co
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) June 16, 2020
Opposition MPs have tabled a motion calling for a U-turn on the issue and there is growing unease among some Tory back bench MPs about the government’s refusal to reverse the decision.
The government says it is running a holiday activities and food programme to benefit thousands of disadvantaged children this summer and is supplying £63 million to local councils in England to allow for targeted support to assist those who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to covid-19.
But Rashford is calling for more pressure on the government, with one Tory backbencher predicting an eventual U-turn, according to the BBC.
We are trending no 1 and 2 in England. I need everyone’s help to keep this noise going as I head to training but before I go, to ALL MPs in Parliament, this is not about politics. The same way us players put rivalry aside when we put the England shirt on, please #maketheuturn
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) June 16, 2020