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Rutland MP: Why I voted no on free school meals plan

Rutland MP Alicia Kearns (Con) explains in her regular column why she voted no on a plan to provide free school meals during half-term breaks :

As an MP it is my job and responsibility to you, the constituents of Rutland and Melton, to develop and deliver policies that protect you, your families and this country at large. Most of the time, it is straightforward how a parliamentary vote corresponds to these policies and priorities; however, on other occasions a vote may appear at odds with these values. The public are left dismayed – and quite rightly expect their MP to explain their position.

The Free School Meals vote last week is one such example – on the face of it, the motion would certainly appear self-evidently desirable to most, but appealing motions don’t always make for sound policy. I voted against the motion not because of what it was trying to achieve, but because of how it would have forced us to try to achieve it. Placing schools at the centre of the solution to child hunger is not right, nor is focusing exclusively on food rather than alongside rent, clothes, white goods and other necessities.

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