Shabana has written to constituents after the Government voted down Labour’s proposals to extend free school meals.
The motion would have extended free school meals until Easter 2021, providing a lifeline for thousands of families facing financial hardship over the winter period.
Over 1.4 million children in England are eligible for free school meals, including many families in Birmingham Ladywood. The Government extended free school meals over the summer after pressure from campaigners and Labour MPs.
You can read her letter in full below.
Letter to constituents
Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the campaign to provide free school meals over school holidays.
Over 1.4 million children in England are eligible for free school meals, and I know a considerable amount of families in Birmingham Ladywood will be part of that figure. I agree that we must be doing everything we can to support children growing up during these unprecedented times.
As you will be aware, the Government extended free school meals over the summer after pressure from campaigners and Labour MPs. This week, the Government had the opportunity to extend that support once again to Easter 2021, providing a lifeline for the thousands of families struggling as a result of unexpected financial hardship due to the pandemic.
I am proud to have voted for Labour’s proposal to extend free school meals until Easter 2021. I am incredibly disappointed that this was opposed by the Conservatives, who opposed the motion, which was defeated in the Commons this week.
At a time when the Government is exercising its ability to provide funding for various parts of our economy and industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is hard to believe they could not make this proposal a success.
Let’s be clear: it was a political choice to vote against this motion, that will impact thousands of children who already face poverty in modern Britain. For that, this Government will have to live with its conscience.
My work continues on behalf of the people of Birmingham Ladywood throughout the pandemic. You can see more of my updates by visiting my website: https://www.shabanamahmood.org/category/news/
Thank you for writing to me about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to write to me again regarding this or any other issue.
Shabana Mahmood MP