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Newark Labour Women's branch and Unite Community hold protest outside Robert Jenrick's constituency office on London Road in response to vote on free school meals during holidays




A protest was held outside of Newark MP Robert Jenrick's constituency office in response to him, as well as the government, voting against free school meals during the holidays being extended.

Members of the Newark Labour Women's branch and Unite Community, North Nottinghamshire, staged the protest outside of Mr Jenrick's office on London Road.

It featured a large silhouette of a child with a plate begging for a meal and empty plates with messages written in support of the children, including 'No More Holiday Hunger' and 'No To Child Hunger'.

THE peaceful protest outside of Robert Jenrick's constituency office on London Road, Newark. Left to right: Newark Labour Women's officer Ruth Woodhall and members Hann Sutcliffe and Liz Gregory. (43188819)
THE peaceful protest outside of Robert Jenrick's constituency office on London Road, Newark. Left to right: Newark Labour Women's officer Ruth Woodhall and members Hann Sutcliffe and Liz Gregory. (43188819)

The idea to extend the free school meals until Easter 2021 was put forward by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

Ruth Woodhall, Newark Labour Women's branch officer, said between 31% and 37% of children in the Newark West Division were living below the poverty line.

She added the use of out-of-work benefits to determine eligibility for free school meals excluded many children with working parents who were also living below the poverty line — leaving many families dependent on food banks.

Ruth Woodhall further said that Mr Jenrick himself benefited from subsidised meals in the Houses of Parliament.

She said: "We welcome the fact that, under pressure, Robert Jenrick's Tory government has now U-turned and will continue to provide free school meals in the holidays for children who normally receive them in term time.

"But this still doesn't solve the problem of child poverty in his constituency."

Mr Jenrick has been approached for a comment.



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