CNN reporters shocked live on air when explaining Tory MPs’ attitude to free meals for hungry children

Shannon McDonagh
Monday 21 December 2020 12:30
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(Reuters)

As we near the end of the year it’s not controversial to acknowledge that the bar for how other countries perceive the UK government is incredibly low.

That said, new footage from CNN shows how uncomfortable it is to see pundits in the US question our government’s resistance to doing the right thing.

Tuning in to their London bureau, a segment on the show featured an explainer on last week’s announcement that Unicef will be allocating resources to feeding hungry children in the world’s sixth largest economy.

Last week Unicef announced they would be spending £700,000 on helping children in the UK that are living in poverty as a result of the pandemic. 

CNN explained it will be the first time they have done so in its 70-year history.

Hardly a divisive decision, in theory. Those most in need should be given all the extra help available when faced with a year as bleak as this, yet the Tories continue to oppose it.

The shock in host Kim Brunhuber’s delivery of the segment is palpable as correspondent Salma Abdelaziz discusses the government taking issue with the idea that the UK is in need of this support.

“It might surprise some to hear that providing free school meals during holiday breaks is actually a matter of great controversy in this country,” she says in what is an emotional explanation.

She describes a “bitter debate”, explaining how footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaigning secured not one, but two U-turns from the government in providing meals for children. 

There is reference made to “a senior government figure” trashing the move, which is likely a reference to Jacob Rees Mogg, who has been one of the move’s more vocal critics on behalf of his party, denouncing it in the House of Commons as “playing politics when it is meant to be looking after people in the poorest most deprived countries in the world”.  

Tone deaf doesn’t cover it.  

In a move which should leave many members of the Conservative party red faced , the correspondent also makes reference to MP Ben Bradley’s comments earlier this year, where comparisons were drawn between feeding hungry children and funneling money into ‘crack dens’.

The segment concludes with both hosts in disbelief, agreeing that debating the issue is “hard to fathom”.

It’s bizarre to comprehend that the failure of the government to address poverty issues exacerbated by the pandemic has come to being discussed on an international level.

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