Footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign for children to receive free school meals over the school holidays has been rejected by MPs.
The Manchester United forward launched an online petition last week proposing the extension of free school meals for those on Universal Credit or equivalent across half terms and the Christmas holidays.
Defeated by a majority
Although Rashford’s campaign during the summer was successful, and saw free school meals given to children over the summer holidays, his recent proposal was rejected by a majority.
Labour's motion, which called for the scheme to be extended over school holidays until Easter 2021, was defeated by 261 votes to 322 - a majority of 61.
In a statement on Twitter 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."
The footballer added, "For as long as they don't have a voice, they will have mine."
Can I check how my MP voted?
You can find out what your MP voted in the Free School Meals motion in the House of Commons by visiting the UK Parliament website.
How can I write to my MP?
The UK Parliament website explains, “You can contact your MP when you, or people living in your area, are affected by decisions made by the UK Parliament or by the Government. MPs represent all the people in their local area, whether they vote for them or not.”
You could contact your MP:
if you feel you have been treated unfairly by a Government office or agencyto let your MP know about a problem affecting people in your local areato ask your MP to support a particular campaign that you feel strongly about
There are a number of ways you can contact our MP, but the UK Parliament website explains that writing is the best method, as it provides a written record that can be referred to later.
write a letter to your MP at: House of Commons, London SW1A 0AAemail them using the contact details in the Directory of MPs
Always include your own address when you write to your MP so that they will know you live in their constituency.
If writing is not possible or you just want to ask a quick question or make an appointment, you can telephone your MP’s office:
to telephone their office at the House of Commons, call 020 7219 3000 and ask to be put through to their office giving your MP’s nameto phone your MP at their local constituency office, you will find the contact details at your local town hall or library, or it may be given in the Directory of MPs
Many MPs can also be contacted through Twitter and other platforms, and they may also run their own websites. Details of this information have been added to the Directory of MPs where possible.