The head teacher of a Ramsgate school has written to South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay accusing him of “missing a trick” over the provision of free school meals in the holidays.
In his letter, Cliff Stokes, who runs Newington Community Primary School, asks the MP to meet with those who have benefited from the meal scheme and urges him to reconsider his actions.
Mr Mackinlay was among 321 Conservatives who voted against the extension of free school meals for disadvantaged pupils during the holidays. North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale did not vote.
The failure of the motion, which was prompted by footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign, has caused fury in Thanet and across the country.
In his letter to Mr Mackinlay, Mr Stokes wrote: “No child in the 21st Century should go hungry.
“Come and speak to those who benefited from the scheme at Newington and see whether it would have made a difference to children’s lives.
“I really feel that you, alongside your Conservative MP colleagues, have missed a trick, have misunderstood the real needs of the large numbers of families in our community, and will hopefully reconsider your actions.”
Mr Stokes is asking anyone who agrees with the position of the school and the extension of free school meals through the holidays to email Mr Mackinlay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MP defended his decision to vote against the extension, saying it was ‘untrue’ to say he has voted against free school meals and branded the motion as ‘political gameplaying.’
He said an amended motion, which he supported, outlined the help government is already giving to families in need.
Since the controversial vote, a number of businesses and organisations have stepped up to help families who may be struggling, by offering free meals.