Engagements

Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 13th January 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party

The Prime Minister says that the parcels are “disgraceful”, but it should not have taken social media to shame the Prime Minister into action. Like the Education Secretary, he blames others, and he invites me to hold him to account, so let me do that because blaming others, Prime Minister, is not as simple as that, is it?

I have checked the Government guidance on free school meals—the current guidance, published by the Department for Education. I have it here. It sets out an

“Example parcel for one child for five days”— the Department for Education, Prime Minister; you want to be held to account—

“1 loaf of bread…2 baking potatoes…block of cheese…baked beans…3 individual” yoghurts. Sound familiar? They are the images, Prime Minister, you just called “disgraceful”. The only difference I can see with this list and what the Prime Minister has described as “disgraceful” is a tin of sweetcorn, a packet of ham and a bottle of milk. He blames others, but this is on his watch. The truth is, families come last under this Government, whether it is exams, free school meals or childcare. Will the Prime Minister undertake—he wants to be held to account—to take down this guidance by the close of play today and ensure that all our children can get a decent meal during the pandemic?