A GRASSROOTS organisation has written a letter to MP David Johnston asking why he voted against children having meals during school breaks throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

In October MPs voted down footballer Marcus Rashford’s bid to extend free school meals for disadvantaged children in school holidays.

Didcot Against Austerity called on the Conservative MP for Wantage to ‘think again’ about his vote against free school meals.

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Didcot Against Austerity member, Carol Stavris, said: “His excuses are that he has spent 16 years previously supporting disadvantaged children, many who were on free school meals; and that no government in 100 years has provided meals when schools are closed. This is no valid reason for not doing it in the present circumstances.”

She added: “Your past good work is to be commended, Mr Johnston, but this is the moment you must step up to the mark for today’s youngsters. Their families are suffering from the effects of a pandemic the end results of which no-one can predict.

“Families whose jobs cannot be guaranteed or protected, whose incomes are falling, whose homes they could lose if they can’t pay rent or mortgage and whose children now are at real risk of persistent hunger.”