Rashford acclaimed as 'power of kindness' after Government U-turn on free school meals

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

On a day when his political soulmate was being retrospectly urged to stay humble following his US election defeat, Boris Johnson bowed out yet again to the superior judgment of a 23-year-old footballer, in the latest of a string of high-profile U-turns.

The prime minister called the Manchester United star yesterday to inform him that Downing Street has agreed to a £170m package to help students get their meals.

Children's Ombudsman for England Anne Longfield said:"I welcome these steps towards providing more free meals and healthy diets for children who need them and holiday activities. Families are facing hard times financially and this will help."

The government also said up to £220 million will be spent on holidays and food so that by 2021 vulnerable children will be able to receive healthy food and participate in summer, Christmas and Easter activities.

On the earlier occasion Rashford was awarded an MBE last month, No 10 first refused the former Eton PM's call for food vouchers over the summer to continue to give £15 a week to some of England's poorest families, only to cave in to public outcry.

"Us" are the local companies, charities, volunteers, teachers, social workers, caregivers and key employees.

Of Rashford's three calls for an end to child poverty-which have garnered more than a million signatures-one has been left unfulfilled: 'Expand free school meals to all under-16s where a parent or guardian is in receipt of universal credit or equivalent benefit.'; and the government faces a fight over the £20-a-week Universal Credit extension, which is due to end in April.

England's children's commissioner, Anne Longfield, welcomed the announcement but has urged ministers to go "further" by making universal credit a universal credit scheme - a move endorsed by the Child Poverty Action Group.