Marcus Rashford vows he will not slow down in free school meals fight despite Boris Johnson U-turn


Marcus Rashford vows he will not slow down in the fight to feed Britain’s poorest children despite Boris Johnson agreeing to fund £400m of free school meals during phone call with Manchester United striker

  • Marcus Rashford forced the UK Government into another U-turn this weekend 
  • Boris Johnson’s Government will now offer an extra £400m to free school meals
  • The footballer recently campaigned for this but says his fight will carry on 
  • Rashford wants free meals for under-16s who have a parent on Universal Credit

Marcus Rashford insisted his fight to feed Britain’s poorest children will go on on Sunday night, after a Government U-turn did not extend to the Prime Minister accepting one of the player’s key requests for help.

The 22-year-old forced No 10 into a second U-turn in five months when the PM called him after Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Everton to say that the Government would, after all, provide an extra £400m for free school meals.

But the cordial conversation, which came when the TV news networks were committed to wall-to-wall US election coverage, did not result in Boris Johnson accepting Rashford’s plea that free school meals be provided to all children under-16 where a parent or guardian is receiving Universal Credit.

Marcus Rashford insists he will continue to fight to feed the country’s poorest children

Rashford spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson (above) over the weekend about the cause

Rashford spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson (above) over the weekend about the cause

Sportsmail understands that Rashford still sees this as a key plank of his campaign, which he will not give up on simply because he has won extra Government support. The measure he is still asking for would cost an additional £670m.

The Manchester United player said he was ‘overwhelmed’ with the new breakthrough and he has at last been granted a line of communication into No 10. 

Johnson agreed during their call that his Downing Street staff would now meet with Rashford’s child food poverty task force. 

Those talks will aim to ensure that Rashford’s partners can play a more active role in combat food poverty.

Rashford forced Johnson into a U-turn with extra £400m to be provided for free school meals

Rashford forced Johnson into a U-turn with extra £400m to be provided for free school meals

The PM however refused to provide free meals to all under-16s with a parent on benefits

The PM however refused to provide free meals to all under-16s with a parent on benefits

Rashford asked for precisely such a meeting weeks ago but there had been no reply from No 10 to that request. 

The government’s hand was forced when Rashford’s plea for help on Twitter saw thousands of people taking action to fee impoverished children during half term.

Many independent experts were sceptical about the timing of the call and No 10 announcement. 

Jo Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project, tweeted: ‘So inept has been the Government’s handling of this issue that it finds itself now having to try and bury good news.’

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