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More than 700,000 sign a petition to end subsidized meals for MPs


More than 740,000 people have already signed a petition to end subsidized meals for MPs after they voted against extending free school meals.

Earlier this week An application to offer vulnerable families food aid during the school holidays until Easter 2021 was rejected in the House of Commons by 322 against 261 votes.

However, the defeat sparked violent backlash with 22-year-old Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, who stood up for the campaign and called on people to unite to protect the most vulnerable children.

The latest petition, which started at 38 degrees, said: "MEPs have voted against extending free school meals during the holidays for the poorest children in the UK amid a pandemic.

"Under no circumstances should you benefit from free or subsidized meals from public funds."

More than 740,000 people have already signed a petition to end subsidized meals for MPs after they voted against extending free school meals (parliament canteen pictured).

The petition nearly reached its target of 800,000 signatures (numbers earlier today)

The petition nearly reached its target of 800,000 signatures (numbers earlier today)

MEPs are currently allowed to eat and drink alcohol in parliamentary restaurants and bars that are not directly subsidized, but operated at a loss. Pictured: Members' menu in the dining room in September 2019

MEPs are currently allowed to eat and drink alcohol in parliamentary restaurants and bars that are not directly subsidized, but operated at a loss. Pictured: Members' menu in the dining room in September 2019

MEPs are currently allowed to eat and drink alcohol in parliamentary restaurants and bars that are not directly subsidized, but operated at a loss.

This means that public money is effectively being spent on subsidizing the entire catering operation.

The petition has so far received more than 740,000 signatures from its 800,000 target.

Portia Lawrie, who started the petition, said, “I only started this petition because I was so angry that some MPs rejected the option in Parliament and Marcus Rashford's campaign to extend free school meals into the school holidays.

"I wanted to point out the clear hypocrisy between eating and drinking that the public subsidizes for MPs, while I refuse to support those most in need."

“I couldn't quite believe what was going on when hundreds of thousands of people put their support behind it in less than 24 hours.

“It is just unfair that the government is refusing to use OUR money on one of the most basic tasks of any compassionate society – feeding hungry children. And the support that this petition receives clearly shows the harm done to those who voted against it. & # 39;

The link to the petition has since been shared by a number of famous faces, including actors Angela Griffin and Tamzin Outhwaite.

The link to the petition has since been shared by a number of famous faces, including actors Angela Griffin and Tamzin Outhwaite

The link to the petition has since been shared by a number of famous faces, including actors Angela Griffin and Tamzin Outhwaite

It comes after Rashford tweeted tonight to ask people to rise above disappointment and describe the abuse of MPs and their families in recent days as "unacceptable" and unnecessary.

He wrote: “I would like to briefly comment on the fact that some MPs and their families have experienced unacceptable abuse in the past few days, particularly on Twitter.

“Believe me, as a Premier League player I know all too well what this feels like and it's unnecessary. We're all bigger than that. & # 39;

He said that he cannot and will not tolerate personal attacks on women in particular.

He called for "cooperation" and "togetherness" and added: "Disappointment is a natural reaction, but we have to rise above it."

Earlier this week, the athlete told BBC Newsnight that he "couldn't be more proud to call me British" after his campaign to offer free meals to children for Christmas sparked a lot of support on social media.

Manchester United footballer, 22, Marcus Rashford, who stood up for the campaign, urged people to band together to protect the most vulnerable children

Manchester United footballer, 22, Marcus Rashford, who stood up for the campaign, urged people to band together to protect the most vulnerable children

The Manchester United footballer thanked hundreds of cafes, pubs and restaurants who stood up after the vote to offer half-time food to children at risk.

In a statement released for the flagship program, the ace also responded to criticism of his decision to launch the campaign, saying those who wanted to talk about "celebrities" and "superstars" would find them on his Twitter feed .

Dozens of hospitality companies have shown they are partnering with Rashford, not the 322 MPs who turned down the motion by helping families over the school holidays.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, the English star said: “When we were growing up we didn't have much, but we always had the community's safety net. That community was my family.

When we stumbled we were caught with open arms. Even at their lowest point, having felt the devastating effects of the pandemic, local businesses today have guns around their communities and trapped children at risk as they fell.

Hotel giants, councils and small businesses gather to help vulnerable children

Local businesses and organizations:

  • The Greystones – Sheffield
  • Kingfisher Fish and Chips – Hull
  • The Court – Birmingham
  • Farm Fresh – Nottingham
  • Rayrayz – Liverpool
  • Birchwood Autumn – West Lancashire
  • EJF Buffets and Banquets – Solihull
  • St. James Church – Rawstenall
  • The Loft Cafe Bar – Bingley
  • The Gilded Room – Essex
  • Oliver & # 39; s – Surrey
  • Dolphins Fish and Chips – Sheffield
  • Pearson & # 39; s bar-hull
  • Toast 2 roasts – St Helens
  • The Panda Club – Liverpool
  • Manjaros – Middlesbrough
  • Mumtaz – Leeds
  • Barry's Tea Room – Cumbria
  • The Rhubarb Shed Cafe – Sheffield
  • The Vale Cafe – Rothbury
  • Warrens Fruits and Vegetables – Watford
  • Jennys Brackley – Brackley
  • The Merry House – Whitehaven
  • Jo & # 39; s Place – Wilmslow
  • Bowring Park Cafe – Shropshire
  • Greenfields Farm – Telford
  • Minikin Art Cafe – Manchester
  • Babuls – Teesdale
  • The sandwich shop – Rotherham
  • Khandoker – Didsbury
  • The Hawthorne – Warrington
  • The watering can – Liverpool
  • The Pudding Pantry – Nottingham
  • Patna – leek
  • Astoria Bar – Urmston
  • Belluno – Devon
  • Aubergine café – Wirral
  • The Crown Inn – Bristol
  • The yard – Wigan
  • The Handsworth – Sheffield
  • Baker – Bolton
  • Clear Games / Tranmere Rovers – Wirral
  • Royal and Derngate – Northampton
  • The VIllage Fish Bar – Bamber Bridge
  • Bik Smoke Brew Co – Surbiton, Kingston, Hammersmith, Weybridge, Chichester, Wokingham
  • Pavilion Street Kitchen – Cornwall
  • Earl House Cafe – Cornwall
  • The Art House – Eastbourne
  • Market Hill Fishery – Winterton
  • Kingfisher Fish and Chips – Hull
  • The Poachers – County Durham
  • Cafe Baraka – Cleethorpes
  • Jordan & # 39; s Cafe – Precious
  • Duke & # 39; s Head – Great Yarmouth
  • Weoley Castle – Birmingham
  • Portofino Ristorante – Harrogate
  • Lillies Coffee Shop – Rotherham
  • Kimble & # 39; s – Billingham
  • No bones – Hastings
  • Tintinhull Village Hall and Coffee Shop – Yeovil

Councils and regional authorities:

  • Greater Manchester City Region
  • Telford and Wrekin
  • Redbridge
  • Oldham
  • Greenwich
  • Liverpool
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Cheltenham Borough Council
  • Doncaster
  • Southwark
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Wandsworth
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • Lewisham
  • North Tyneside
  • St. Helens Borough
  • Lambeth
  • Manchester City Council
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Knowsley Council
  • Birmingham City Council
  • North Tyneside Council
  • St Helens Borough Council
  • Hackney Council
  • Portsmouth Council
  • Shropshire Council
  • Wolverhampton City Council

“I couldn't be more proud to call myself British tonight. I am really overwhelmed with the support.

"You want to talk about 'celebrities' and 'superstars', look no further than my Twitter feed and that's what you will find."

Some business giants are involved in the campaign, and McDonald's will be delivering a million meals for children over the next few weeks.

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson supported a campaign to offer free meals to vulnerable children.

Ms. Lawson tweeted, “It shouldn't be like this, but feeding a hungry child is more important than arguing about how it's done.

"Or rather, donate when you can and then do what it takes to stop those who make children get hungry."

Councils such as Redbridge Borough Council, Southwark Council, Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Liverpool City Council also said they would help.

And smaller companies like Aubergine Cafe in the Wirral, run by Andrew Mahon and his wife May, have started their own rescue missions for children.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham announced plans for grocery vouchers through the cooperative and tweeted, "It was good to tell @MarcusRashford that we, his hometown, want to be the first in the country to realize his vision."

After Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson unveiled a similar program in his city, he tweeted, “Families are struggling more than ever to make ends meet. No child should go hungry and in Liverpool we will not let it. Thank you for your hard work and campaign at @MarcusRashford. & # 39;

A large number of celebrities offered their support to the English star. Journalist Caitlin Moran tweeted, "Marcus Rashford's timeline makes your heart beat faster – people across the country are doing something to feed children for Christmas."

Musician Tim Burgess, a Mancunian, tweeted: “Wow, @MarcusRashford is a true hero of our time. So many MPs should be ashamed that a footballer helps those in need more than they do. & # 39;

Support also came from all over the world of football. Former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker wrote: & # 39; Well played @MarcusRashford. Check out his timeline. Exceptionally by a remarkable young man. & # 39;

A senior conservative regional politician has since fallen into an uproar, blowing up government decision-making at the last minute.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said the government should make "a clear decision" on whether or not to fund free school meals "well in advance" over the holidays.

When asked if the government needs to fund half-time meals, he said, "I think last minute you probably have to fund it, the answer is that."

He added, "It shouldn't be a last minute thing, it should be planned, there should be a national approach to it."

He said the lack of planning means that there is now an "indiscriminate agreement" across the country as to whether free school meals will be offered during recess.

Funding from McDonald & # 39; s will enable charity FareShare to give groceries to families who need it most in the coming weeks.

Paul Pomroy, CEO of the United Kingdom and Ireland said: & # 39; As a company, we are committed to supporting and serving the communities in which we operate.

“In these challenging times, we know it is more important than ever to support those most in need.

“When we temporarily closed our restaurants in March, our employees, franchisees and suppliers gathered to provide food banks and charities with excess food and support.

& # 39; We were delighted to be able to donate excess groceries through FareShare and other organizations earlier this year and we admire the fantastic work FareShare continues to do to support families in very difficult situations.

"I am excited to be helping distribute a million meals to families in need this fall, and I would like to thank and congratulate FareShare for everything they are doing."

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare added, & # 39; McDonalds is showing real leadership in helping the most vulnerable in society to access healthy food during this critical time.

"The funding will allow the equivalent of 1 million meals to be distributed to our charity network very quickly, and we are grateful for your urgent support."

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