THE Labour Party have awarded themselves credit for the Tory Government’s free school meals U-turn – despite the work of footballer Marcus Rashford making the policy a mainstream issue.
The England striker’s open letter to the Prime Minister, writings on the issue, fundraising for charity FareShare and constant social media campaigning for the scheme to be extended over the summer holidays brought the matter to his audience of nearly three million followers.
Rashford (below) has been praised for helping to pull focus to the issue, which has been discussed by Labour Party figures but failed to gain the same kind of attention.
Following this afternoon’s news that the Tory Government had U-turned and would be extending the scheme to children from low-income families over the summer holidays, many people welcomed the news.
The footballer didn’t give himself credit for the change – posting on Twitter: “I don’t even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.”
Meanwhile Labour were happy to give themselves a pat on the back for Rashford’s work, tweeting: “We did it! Thank you to everyone who campaigned for #HolidaysWithoutHunger”.
We did it! Thank you to everyone who campaigned for #HolidaysWithoutHunger 🙌 https://t.co/pXgTzSKJXC
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) June 16, 2020
Thousands replied urging the party to rethink the post. Comedian Kathy Burke responded: “Reword this tweet and give credit to @MarcusRashford not yourselves.”
James Felton was also pretty succinct, replying simply: “And by we you mean he.”
Others replied with images crediting Rashford as being the new leader of the opposition, rather than Keir Starmer.
HE did it. Sadly Labour had nothing to do with this. But keep riding on his coattails pic.twitter.com/1kWd1OCkHk
— gk🌹 (@GeraldKrasner1) June 16, 2020
Yesterday’ Starmer backed Rashford’s calls for free school meals for 1.3 million children in England to be extended beyond the end of term.
He said: “Marcus Rashford is right, we cannot let 1.3 million children go hungry this summer.
“Thank you, Marcus, for all the work you are doing to support children during the coronavirus crisis.”