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26th Mar 2021

Government minister refuses to say if he regrets voting against free school meals

He repeatedly avoided giving a direct answer, denying that he voted against free school meals, despite being corrected numerous times

Claudia McInerney

Good Morning Britain Hosts asked Robert Jenrick if he regrets voting against free school meals

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, appeared on Good Morning Britain today to discuss the Government’s plans to support vulnerable families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Co-host Alex Beresford, who took Piers Morgan’s place on today’s GMB show, questioned the Government minister over his decision to vote against free school meals in October last year.

“We didn’t vote against free school meals, we’ve actually provided a government programme,” Jenrick said.

Co-host Kate Garraway was quick to interrupt him and said: “You did. You voted against it in October. You specifically voted against free school meals.

“Of course we now know that Boris Johnson has made something of U turn on that. Rang Marcus Rashford himself to inform him.”

Garraway asked the Housing Secretary whether, in the light of these events, he regrets voting against free school meals.

However, Jenrick steered away from answering the question in his response.

He said: “I mean, let’s not get distracted by that.”

“I don’t feel it is a distraction,” Kate interrupted him saying, “I feel it’s kind of critical,” she added.

Jenrick said: “That was an opposition day, parliamentary vote in the House of Commons.”

He said that he thought the issue itself is “clearly very important.”

Garraway once again asked the Government minister if he regrets making his vote against school meals.

Jenrick responded, saying: “I think tackling the issue of child hunger and poverty is absolutely critical. It’s always been important but it’s going to be even more so with all of the stresses and strains that we’ve seen on family life over the course of the pandemic.”

Garraway interrupted him again, repeatedly saying: “Sorry, but that isn’t really answering the question!”

Jenrick’s appearance on GMB comes after he announced the next phase of the government’s scheme to support thousands of vulnerable families across the UK.