Tory MP Says She Hopes Businesses Who Feed Hungry Kids Won't Seek Government Support

Sarah Turnnidge
·2 min read

A Tory MP has said she “very much” hopes businesses offering to feed hungry children for free “will not be seeking any further government support”, as the row over free school meals continues.

In a now-deleted Facebook post Selaine Saxby, who represents North Devon, wrote: “I am delighted our local businesses have bounced back so much after lockdown they are able to give away food for free, and very much hope they will not be seeking any further government support.”

Saxby is one of more than 300 Tories who voted against extending free school meals to the UK’s poorest children through the half term and Christmas holidays on Wednesday.

After facing intense criticism online for her comment Saxby insisted her words had been taken “out of context”, but did not explain the context they should have been read in.

She added: “The portrayal of my recent comments on social media, out of context, does not accurately convey my views – I of course deeply regret any offence which may have been caused.”

Leaders in North Devon – where the hospitality industry has been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic – have responded furiously to Saxby’s comments, with the North Devon Liberal Democrats’s spokesperson telling Devon Live: “I am stunned at what I have read from Saxby.

“Not only has she tried to justify the fact that she has voted in a way that could see children go hungry, but she’s also attacked the hospitality industry in North Devon who have taken one of the biggest beatings during this pandemic, but still step forward to support children.”

The North Devon MP’s Facebook post began to...

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