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17th Dec 2020

Jacob Rees-Mogg says UNICEF should be “ashamed” for feeding hungry children in Britain

Conservative MP has accused UNICEF of "playing politics" after the charity stepped in to feed the hungry children of Britain

Reuben Pinder

“A political stunt of the lowest order”

Jacob Rees-Mogg has taken aim at UNICEF for stepping in to help feed the poorest families in the United Kingdom, accusing the humanitarian organisation of “playing politics.”

UNICEF has pledged £25,000 to the charity School Food Matters, which will help to provide breakfast boxes to thousands of children and families in the London borough of Southwark over the Christmas holidays, Sky News reports.

Each box will contain food for 10 breakfasts over the break.

Rees-Mogg, Tory MP for North Somerset, told the House of Commons today that it is “a scandal that UNICEF should be playing politics in this way when it is meant to be looking after people in the poorest countries in the world, where people are starving, where there are famines and civil wars.”

“They make cheap political points of this kind, giving £25,000 to one council.

“It is a stunt of the lowest order.”

Rees-Mogg then defended the government’s record on child poverty, claiming they are committed to their pledge of reducing it.

“We’ve expanded free school meals to all five to seven-year-olds, benefitting 1.4 million children,” he said (thanks Marcus.)

“We doubled free childcare for eligible working parents and will establish a £1 billion childcare fund, giving parents the support and freedom to look after children.

“We are spending £400 million of taxpayers’ money to support children, families and the most vulnerable over winter and through 2021.

“Since 2010 to 2018/19 there are 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty in this country. This is a record of successive conservatism and UNICEF should be ashamed of itself.”

Figures from The Children’s Society say that there are four million children across the UK living in poverty, meaning nine kids in a classroom of 30 will be growing up below the poverty line.

There has also been a 107 per cent increase in children receiving emergency food this year.