Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted another embarrassing U-turn is coming on free school meals after a furious backlash from campaigners.

The Tory leader is under growing pressure to act after a revolt from generous restaurants, councils and some party colleagues angry at a refusal to fund the policy in England over the holidays.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced £10 million to provide meals north of the border last week.

A vote on the call for England saw five of the six Scottish Tory MPs reject football star Marcus Rashford's campaign, leading to criticism from the SNP.

Today, Johnson insisted no children would go hungry due to "inattention" by his Government.

Johnson, speaking during a visit to a hospital in Reading, said: "We don't want to see children going hungry this winter, this Christmas, certainly not as a result of any inattention by this Government – and you are not going to see that."

The Prime Minister said he had not spoken to Rashford since June "but what he is doing is terrific".

He said: "We support the local councils – indeed we fund the local councils and many of the organisations that are helping in this period – but we are also uplifting Universal Credit by £1000 and we think that is one of the best ways you can help families in this tough time.

"I totally understand the issue of holiday hunger, it is there, we have to deal with it. The debate is how do you deal with it."

Universal Credit had been increased by £20 a week while £63 million has already been provided by central Government to local authorities to support them.

Downing Street hinted Chancellor Rishi Sunak could announce extra support next month, pointing to comments from Health Secretary Matt Hancock that "the spending review sets out any future funding on behalf of the Government".

Manchester United star Rashford has used his social media profile to highlight examples of businesses that have pledged to help with meals for local children.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross.

Tories are feeling the heat, including Scottish party leader Douglas Ross.

SNP Westminster Deputy leader Kirsten Oswald MP said: "Rather than heeding the calls and doing the right thing by backing free school meal funding in a potential second Parliamentary vote, Douglas Ross is instead shamefully squirming out of ways to vote in favour of feeding hungry children."

Senior Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin warned the Government had "misunderstood the mood of the country" and would probably have to think again.

Former children's minister Tim Loughton, who abstained in last week's vote on the issue, said he would vote against the Government if it came to the Commons again.

And the UK Government's own advisory committee on social mobility has backed Rashford's campaign. The Social Mobility Commission urged the Government to extend free school meals during school holidays until Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

A commission spokesman said: "We know that the current pandemic is having its greatest impact on the poorest regions in Britain where people are already struggling to afford food for their families."