Free School Meals: Summer Holidays

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:44 pm on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Dean Russell Dean Russell Conservative, Watford 5:44 pm, 16th June 2020

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker; I will now get rid of half my speech—which, thankfully, I had not actually written, so that is all good.

I pay tribute to Jo Cox, as Mr Speaker did this morning. Sadly, I never got to know her or meet her, but we shared a passion for tackling loneliness. I will continue to take that fight on in Parliament, even though she is sadly no longer with us to do so.

I wish to speak about the challenges that all of us in this Chamber face in working together—we have heard a lot about that today. The challenge is that when the Government listen, we get attacked. When I hear the phrase U-turn, as I have in most speeches today, I do not hear U-turn; I hear, “Thank you. You listened.” That is the sentiment that we need in order to work together to tackle the really big issues. Since the start of this this pandemic we have worked together in a really great way, especially in the early days. I would say that Government have been agile in our approach.