Great Britain

Boris Johnson’s food tsar says Government must do more to feed needy kids this Christmas

BORIS Johnson's food tsar yesterday lifted the lid on plans to feed needy kids this Christmas - saying holiday clubs are better than doling out benefits.

Henry Dimbleby said the Government will need to ramp up the help it gives kids this festive season.

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi hinted that free school meals could be extended to all kids on Universal Credit, saying the government must “look at that”.

It came as George Osborne said No10 had been “nutmegged” by Marcus Rashford and that a U-turn on free school meals is “inevitable”.

Ministers are expected to kill off the row by unveiling extra cash for holiday schemes for needy kids this December.

Mr Dimbleby, the founder of Leon restaurants, said ministers “are not doing enough” to help hungry kids.

He said the Tsunami of Covid jobs losses will leave many more kids in desperate need of food this year.

The best way of helping poor kids is to lay on holiday clubs which come with free school meals, rather than adding a few more quid to Universal Credit, he said.

He told the BBC: “I was speaking to some mayors of big councils last night and they feel that with the improvement in their services through the pandemic they would rather be given the money to set up things like holiday food and activity clubs.

“You get not only the food, you also get education opportunities – a lot of these children have been left behind in lockdown” “It not only addresses the nutrition, but it also addresses the educational attainment.”

Meanwhile, Mr Osborne stuck the boot into No10 over its handling of the row. And he predicted it will only be a matter of time before they concede defeat.

Writing in the Evening Standard, he said: "With Tory MPs getting nervy, another government U-turn is inevitable.

“We’ll see if it comes in the form of food vouchers, new school holiday clubs or as a large bung to councils.

“Marcus Rashford has got this right. The Government needs to realise that it’s game over.”

All kids on Universal Credit could get free school meals in future in win for Marcus Rashford's campaign, minister hints

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