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Empty plate protest outside MP's King's Lynn office as school meal row rumbles on



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North West Norfolk MP James Wild has insisted he is committed to tackling child poverty, following an empty plate protest outside his constituency office this week.

The demonstration on Tuesday came as the row over last week’s Commons vote over the extension of free school meals during the holidays, which Mr Wild opposed, continued.

Since then, residents, community groups and businesses have teamed up to help feed youngsters in need.

Plates left near MP James Wild's office Tuesday Market Place King's Lynn. (42884001)
Plates left near MP James Wild's office Tuesday Market Place King's Lynn. (42884001)

And Labour councillor Jo Rust, who was among those taking part in the action, said many who were there had not taken part in a protest before, but were “outraged” at the result of the vote.

She said she hoped the message delivered there, and at similar protests in other parts of the country, would send a message to the Government about the “huge mistake” it had made in blocking the provision from being extended.

She added she had been “surprised” by the presence of police during the protest in Lynn’s town centre and insisted it had been Covid-secure.

Plates left near MP James Wild's office Tuesday Market Place King's Lynn..Jo Rust and Gary Bramham laying plates. (42884089)
Plates left near MP James Wild's office Tuesday Market Place King's Lynn..Jo Rust and Gary Bramham laying plates. (42884089)

But, in his latest Lynn News column, Mr Wild said he had been disappointed by claims Conservatives who opposed the extension of meal provision wanted to “starve children.”

He said a Conservative Government had extended the eligibility of children for free school meals to every infant child and families on low incomes.

He added: “That is not the action of a party that is anything other than strongly committed to tackling child poverty and helping low income families.”

But Mrs Rust said thousands of Norfolk people who receive Universal Credit are not eligible for free school meals.

Plates left near MP James Wild's office Tuesday Market Place King's Lynn. (42883847)
Plates left near MP James Wild's office Tuesday Market Place King's Lynn. (42883847)

She added: “These meaningless platitudes that he and his government spout do not bear up to scrutiny.”



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