Tory minister slammed for taking credit for Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign

Kate Plummer
Thursday 25 March 2021 10:44
(Good Morning Britain (ITV))

A government minister is facing criticism after trying to take the credit for Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign during a sustained gaffe on the broadcast rounds this morning.

In an appearance on Good Morning Britain, Children’s Minister Vicky Ford clashed with hosts Susanna Reid and Adil Ray for suggesting that the government would have extended the scheme anyway, with or without the footballer’s intervention.

When asked why it took Rashford – who called on the government to provide vouchers in the summer holidays last year to the 1.3 million children who were receiving free school meals in term time – to extend the policy, Ford claimed these plans were already imminent.

“I had extended the free school meals to more groups of children right at the beginning of this lockdown,” she said.

When further challenged about Rashford’s role – who triggered a second government U-turn during the October school holidays – she continued digging a hole and said: “The holiday activities and food programme we’ve been piloting for the last three years.”

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She added that these policies were in the Conservative party manifesto in 2019.

“Yes there were projects we were already working on,” she said.

But people remained unconvinced of her sincerity.

This is not least because Ford was one of the 322 MPs who - in October 2020 - voted against extending the policy to Easter 2021.

Still, points for trying, we suppose.