Peterborough MP has received threats following ‘school meals’ vote

There has been a national campaign to extend free school meals.There has been a national campaign to extend free school meals.
There has been a national campaign to extend free school meals.
Peterborough MP Paul Bristow has revealed that he and his staff have received threats since Wednesday’s vote on a Labour motion on extending free school meals.

The city MP was one of the majority who voted against the Labour motion. Labour called for the provision of hot food for children to carry on until Easter 2021, however the motion was defeated by a majority of 61 on Wednesday night.

Fellow Conservative MP Shailesh Vara has also stepped into the debate.

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He was not at the vote but said he would also have voted against the Labour motion.

The Labour motion had been supported by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford who has been campaigning to extend free school meals over school holidays until Easter next year.

Paul Bristow said: “On Wednesday, there was a vote on a Labour Party motion about extending free school meals. We are already going further than ever before, which the motion ignored.

“It was just a motion and wouldn’t have changed anything. There is a policy and spending framework for these decisions, which the motion didn’t alter.

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“Not a single extra child or family would have been supported if this vote was passed. Labour know this.

“They use their “Opposition Day” motions as a party-political weapon. It’s just a tactic for targeting abuse at Conservative MPs.

“The reality is that:

- Free school meals are provided to 1.4 million children from low income families.

- £9 billion extra has been put into the welfare system to help during COVID-19.

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- Just yesterday Councils have been given an extra £1 billion to help and I helped to secure £5.7 million for Peterborough.

“But Labour’s rhetoric means facts get lost. Over the last few days, their keyboard warriors have sent me and my staff horrible abuse.

“This included comments about my children and threats to turn up at my home.

“Emotions can run high, but please don’t be fooled by Labour’s political games. And don’t be like these charming people...”

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North West Cambs MP Shailesh Vara said: “I was not in the Commons yesterday so was unable to vote.

“However, had I been there I would have voted with the government.

“It’s important to appreciate all the facts as they really are.

“This government is supporting pupils in need. As well as free school meals for 1.4 million children from low income families there is also £9 billion extra that has been put into the welfare system and £63 million has been provided for Councils to support families in need.”

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However, Peterborough City Council Labour Group leader Shaz Nawaz said: “Therefore, I am hugely disappointed with Paul Bristow, our MP who can often be seen posing outside food banks and shouting from the side-lines, who did not do the right thing by supporting all those families that need this government to step up by voting against the provision of school meals throughout the holidays. Frankly, he put his party before the people of Peterborough.”

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