Wobbly British conservatives stop attack on hungry schoolchildren

This October 2016 video from Britain is called Five-year-old girl calls for Theresa May to stop the homeless crisis.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Faltering May Forced to Give Kids their Dinners Back

Wednesday 5th July 2017

PM ditches yet another disastrous policy

INFANTS in primary schools will continue to get free lunches, the government announced yesterday in its second U-turn in 24 hours.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb revealed that the government would “retain the existing provision” after being challenged by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner over wanting to axe the universal free meals.

The plan was to replace the lunches with free breakfast for all primary school pupils. Ms May faced ridicule after it emerged the money set aside for this amounted to just 7p.

Mr Gibb, in announcing the second climbdown after the plan to hold a free vote over repealing the fox hunting ban was ditched, admitted to MPs that free school lunches help boost academic achievements of children, especially those from impoverished backgrounds.

A third defeat, showing how wobbly the new Conservative-Irish homophobic terrorist coalition government is, was the concession they had to make improving Northern Irish women’s reproductive rights.

And with reduced school funding for employees, up to 17,000 school dinner staff were at risk of losing their jobs, the GMB union said.

Its general secretary Tim Roache said: “Snatching lunches from school kids is a spectacularly bad idea and a surefire vote loser.

“It’s taken far too long for them to admit it, but the government has seen sense in the end — the argument shouldn’t be how we can take food away from hungry children, but how we can make sure no child or young person goes hungry full stop.”

National Union of Teachers (NUT) general secretary Kevin Courtney said the U-turn was a major victory.

He said: “It is hard to credit that a Conservative government was seriously considering taking the food off young children’s plates.

“Teachers and parents will remain concerned, however, about the huge gap in finances that is resulting in cuts to education up and down the country.

“The Conservatives had pledged ‘additional funding’ for schools during the election. Schools, teachers and parents need urgent assurance from government that new money will be provided to tackle the growing crisis in school funding.

“This is truly urgent; schools need £2bn by September.”

During the urgent Commons question on schools funding, Ms Rayner pressured Mr Gibb to answer whether government promises to guarantee funding for schools would be backed by new money and by not making cuts elsewhere.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Education Secretary Justine Greening were also criticised by Ms Rayner for being absent from the session.

She asked Mr Gibb whether the increase in school funding of £150 per pupil in Northern Ireland — through the Tories’ £1bn deal with the DUP — would also apply to children elsewhere in Britain.

Mr Gibb claimed that no school would see less funding per pupil as a result of a new national funding formula, and that the government would set out its plans “shortly.”

On Monday, it was revealed that head teachers will this week send letters to MPs warning that their schools are “running on empty.”

More than 4,000 head teachers across 17 counties are writing to their MPs urging them to use their influence to secure sustainable additional funding for all schools.

It follows a similar letter to more than one million families last month, in which head teachers warned that they were faced with having to make tough decisions over redundancies, scrapping subjects of study, and even closing schools early because of funding shortages.

This video from Ireland says about itself:

Sinn Féin blames May’s “monumental failure” for DUP talks collapsing

5 July 2017

Theresa May​’s set back decades of work in Northern Ireland” says a “disappointed but not surprised” Sinn Féin Ireland​ as no deal is reached between them and the Democratic Unionist Party.

NEARLY 150,000 children in the Midlands are at risk of going hungry over the summer holidays, according to a Stoke-on-Trent MP: here.

Britain: MILLIONS of children at risk of holiday hunger could be helped by a proposed new law requiring councils to provide free meals during the summer break from school: here.

Inside a London school where children go hungry: here.

A MILLION children with low-paid parents would lose out on free school meals in England, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner told MPs yesterday before they went to vote: here.

OVER a million children suffering in dire poverty in the UK will now get free school meal vouchers during the holidays, after a successful campaign by football star Marcus Rashford forced the Tory government into a U-turn on the issue: here.

32 thoughts on “Wobbly British conservatives stop attack on hungry schoolchildren

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  10. Friday 21st July 2017

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    JEREMY CORBYN kickstarted his summer campaign blitz immediately after Parliament went into recess yesterday with an appearance in the Midlands.

    This comes after PM Theresa May told her MPs earlier this week to take a “proper break” after splits within the party were revealed by leaks to the press over Cabinet meetings and public displays of backbiting and bickering.

    The Labour leader was in Telford to start his campaign to unseat Tories in marginal seats.

    It is expected to be Labour’s biggest ever campaign outside of a general election.

    In last month’s snap election, Lucy Allan held the Telford seat for the Tories by beating Labour’s candidate Kuldip Sahota by just 720 votes.

    Mr Corbyn, who campaigned in Telford in the runup to this year’s election, visited a primary school before a rally in the town centre.

    He said: “I am delighted to return to Telford. I grew up in Shropshire and try to come back whenever I can. It’s where I learnt about the principles of community and social justice and the importance of looking after our environment.”

    “The Conservatives held Telford by just 720 votes this year. We are campaigning to win here at the next general election, whenever it is called.

    “The Conservatives have run out of ideas, their Cabinet is in chaos, and ministers are divided over Brexit.”

    Earlier the Labour leader also visited the Royal Stoke University Hospital, speaking to NHS doctors, nurses and patients.

    He said that nurses had expressed to him their concerns about the future of recruiting new staff in light of Tory cuts to bursaries.



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  14. Friday 28th July 2017

    posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

    Trussell Trust warns food crisis will get worse over school holidays

    MILLIONS of children in England will spend their summer going hungry, the Trussell Trust reveals today.

    New analysis from the foodbank charity shows a sharp increase in the number of food packages given to families with children during the school holidays.

    Worst affected will be more than 1.1 million children who won’t receive free school meals over the holidays.

    But the charity warned that, with four million children living in poverty across England, millions more could be at risk.

    Labour accused the government of ignoring the problem and the Department for Education even admitted that it had “made no assessment of the number of children who are at risk of experiencing hunger during school summer holidays in 2017.”

    Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner MP said: “It is a national disgrace that millions of children across the country are at risk of going hungry this summer.

    “The government has admitted it has no plans to assist children who are facing hunger during the school holidays.

    “The Conservatives are failing in their duty of care to children in poverty, whose numbers are increasing to Dickensian levels under Tory austerity.”

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies forecasts that child poverty will rise to five million by 2022.

    Ms Rayner called on the government to bring forward a new strategy to tackle child poverty.

    London has the highest number of children eating free school meals at 212,238.

    North-west England comes in second at 176,140, followed by the West Midlands on 148,443, Yorkshire and the Humber with 129,940, southeast England with 120,933, east of England 95,613, East Midlands 87,113, south-west England 86,108 and north-east England taking 71,655.



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  21. Thursday 14th September 2017

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    THE DUP defied their Tory allies yesterday after they backed a Labour motion in favour of increasing NHS pay.

    Labour’s proposal won before it even went to a vote as it became clear that the Tories would lose in their bid to oppose calls to end the unfair public-sector pay cap.

    The embarrassing defeat for PM Theresa May was the first time that the DUP broke with its new allies after the two parties struck an £1 billion confidence and supply agreement to vote together on key pieces of legislation after the general election.

    The Commons unanimously approved the nonbinding Opposition Day motion on NHS pay.

    Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The real question is will the government now ignore the clear will of the House or will it take action to end the pay cap in the NHS.

    “It’s extremely rare for the government not to vote down an opposition motion and the only explanation is it avoided a vote because it knew it would lose it.

    “So far the Tories’ warm words for NHS staff have proved nothing more than hot air … it’s time the pay cap was ended for all public-sector workers including our overstretched and undervalued NHS workforce.”

    Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said that the DUP supporting the Labour motion proves that the Tories have “lost the argument on public-sector pay.”

    He added: “Ministers must know they’re in the wrong when even their quasi-coalition partners in the DUP have turned against them … It’s now time for the Prime Minister and the chancellor to deliver those proper pay rises.”

    Another motion on university tuition fees — which the DUP campaigned against ahead of the general election — also tabled by Labour was scheduled for after the Star went to print last night.

    After the NHS pay debate, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner took the government to task for sneakily passing through a law to increase the current £9,000 a year university fees by £1,000 through secondary legislation.

    This meant that it was not subject to Parliamentary scrutiny by a debate or vote.

    She also criticised ministers for scrapping the nursing training bursary, getting rid of maintenance grants for students in England, and refusing to increase the current £21,000 salary threshold for repayment of student loans.



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  23. Friday 20th October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    FORMER minister Edward Leigh is a Tory MP who combines right-wing politics with concern for constitutional norms and he isn’t happy with his government’s contempt for parliamentary decisions.

    For the third time in recent weeks, Tory whips told members not to vote on an opposition motion critical of government policy for fear of exposing divisions among their own MPs or their expensively purchased DUP allies.

    Speaker John Bercow warned the Tory leadership last month when they dodged scrutiny over NHS pay and tuition fee rises that parliamentary votes cannot be “treated lightly.”

    He cautioned that, if such tactics become a regular feature, it will be “a matter of widespread concern.”

    The Speaker’s warning was disregarded on Wednesday evening, causing him to explain that being on the wrong end of a 299-0 vote cannot be interpreted by the government as not losing simply because they fled the battlefield.

    Leigh was more forthright, warning that his government was setting a dangerous precedent and that “the road to tyranny is paved by executives ignoring parliaments.”

    His colleague Peter Bone added that the government “cannot ignore the will of the House.”

    Bercow, Leigh, Bone and others are right to highlight the constitutional aspect to government skulduggery, but political realities loom large.

    Theresa May and her team have not disregarded Commons votes on three crucial issues because they feel secure in doing so. Precisely the opposite.

    Despite their corrupt deal with the DUP, their Commons majority is not secure. There is an ever-present menace of Tory MPs buckling under constituent pressure or of the DUP withdrawing support.

    Many DUP voters depend on benefits and would not appreciate their MPs backing measures condemning them to weeks without payment, lack of food and rent arrears. Such realities create a situation in which, as shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams points out, Theresa May is in office but not in power.

    Her own decisions are partly responsible, but a major contributory factor has been the style of opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn, his front-bench team and the great majority of Labour MPs who accept that their previous misgivings about the party leader’s qualities were wrong and are backing him fully.

    Corbyn’s strategy has diverged from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s New Labour and Ed Miliband and Ed Balls’s New Labour Lite in favour of a clear class line, defending working-class living standards, rejecting attacks on claimants and championing trade union membership and activity.

    Labour’s small parliamentary neoliberal tendency — MPs who act as freelances rather than joining the collective — decry Corbyn’s class line, claiming that a more measured approach, involving co-operation with Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs, could moderate government extremism.

    Neither Chris Leslie’s joint authorship of amendments with Kenneth Clarke, Chuka Umunna’s vainglorious single market amendment to the Queen’s Speech nor any other “meet us halfway” proposal has attracted a single Tory MP to abandon the mothership.

    Yet Labour’s uncompromising assault on the inhumanity of the Tories’ Universal Credit scheme forced Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke to drop the 55p-a-minute benefit helpline charge.

    It also encouraged Dr Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the Commons health committee, to defy the whips and back Labour’s motion.

    Her more timid colleagues who criticise the government scheme but submit to whip pressure may yet, once aware of their voters’ views, take the plunge.

    That’s what worries May and what should spur an emboldened labour movement to pose fresh challenges to her insecure government.



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