School meals: Government has ‘misunderstood’ public mood, senior Tory says, as children’s commissioner compares debate to ‘Oliver Twist’

Zoe Tidman and Peter Stubley
·1 min read
MPs voted against extending the free school meals scheme until Easter (AFP via Getty Images)
MPs voted against extending the free school meals scheme until Easter (AFP via Getty Images)

A senior Tory has said the government "misunderstood" the public mood over extending the free school meals scheme over holidays, amid mounting pressure for a U-turn on the issue.

Sir Bernard Jenkin and other Conservative MPs have added their voices to the increasing calls for a rethink after a vote last week rejected a bid to extend provision over the school holidays.

Labour has vowed to bring the issue back to the House of Commons in the absence of a U-turn before Christmas.

Meanwhile, the children’s commissioner for England has slammed the debate by comparing it to Oliver Twist.

Anne Longfield said she had been "horrified" by the recent debate over the extension of food vouchers for vulnerable children.