Marcus Rashford tells Tory MP child poverty is "not a Covid problem" 1 month ago

Marcus Rashford tells Tory MP child poverty is "not a Covid problem"

'This is not a Covid problem and these children haven’t been treated as a priority'

Marcus Rashford has hit back at a Conservative MP who took exception to the footballer suggesting some MPs are 'turning a bind eye' to the needs of children living in poverty in the UK.

Fresh from his on-field heroics in Paris on Tuesday night, the Manchester United forward tweeted he would be keeping a close eye on developments in the Commons on Wednesday, where Rashford’s plan to extend free school meals over holiday periods will be put to a vote.

He tweeted: 'Paying close attention to the Commons today and to those who are willing to turn a blind eye to the needs of our most vulnerable children, 2.2M of them who currently qualify for Free School Meals. 42% newly registered. Not to mention the 1.5M children who currently don’t qualify.'

Within minutes, Rashford's tweet had prompted a response from Conservative MP Steve Baker. He insisted it was wrong to suggest anyone would be turning a blind eye, and that MPs also had a duty to protect the currency.


Although Baker selected the option which prevented replies to his tweet, Rashford responded by quote-tweeting him.

'At least turn on your comments and let me respond Steve,' he said. 'I very much welcome conversation on this.'

Baker reiterated that Rashford's claim of a 'blind eye' being turned was wrong, suggesting additional financial support throughout holiday periods would damage to economy to the extent the nation's poor 'will be devastated'.

Rashford reminded him that child poverty in the UK was far from a new problem, and that the strains of the Coronavirus Pandemic were not the cause of it.

'2018-19, it was recorded 9 out of 30 children in any given classroom were living in poverty in the UK,' Rashford tweeted. 'This was expected to rise by 1 million by 2022 prior to Covid hitting. This is not a Covid problem and these children haven’t been treated as a priority.

'Myself and the Task Force continue to invite those in power to collaborate, sit around the table and collectively understand how we can support our most vulnerable children,' he continued. 'The invitation is consistently met with...silence...'