How every Herts MP voted as Parliament rejects plea for free school meals

Only one MP in Hertfordshire backed the bid to extend free school meals over the school holidays.

Conservative MPs voted down Labour’s motion which would see the government fund the scheme during half-terms up until Easter 2021.

The campaign has become a national talking point after being championed by Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford, who convinced the Government to extend the scheme earlier in the year to cover the summer holidays.

The proposed extension would see 1.4 million disadvantaged children be given £15-a-week food vouchers to cover time they are not in school.

The bid, tabled by Labour, was defeated by 322 votes to 261 – a majority of 61.

In response, Rashford said: “Put aside all the noise, the digs, the party politics and let’s focus on the reality.

“A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter because of comments that have been made today. We must stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers.

“Our views are being clouded by political affiliation. This is not politics, this is humanity.”

Almost all of Hertfordshire’s MPs voted against the proposal.

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Albans, was the only politician from our area to support it.

The Conservative MP for Stevenage Stephen McPartland did not vote on the measure.

Herts MPs who voted against the measure

Bim Afolami (Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden)

Oliver Dowden (Conservative, Hertsmere)

Oliver Heald (Conservative, North East Hertfordshire)

Julie Marson (Conservative, Hertford and Stortford)

Gagan Mohindra (Conservative, South West Hertfordshire)

Sir Mike Penning (Conservative, Hemel Hempstead)

Dean Russell (Conservative, Watford)

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Grant Shapps (Conservative, Welwyn Hatfield)

Charles Walker (Conservative, Broxbourne)

Herts MPs who supported the measure

Daisy Cooper (Liberal Democrats, St Albans)

HertsLive – Hemel Hempstead