Even if the decision to impose a new national lockdown was the biggest ‘dead cat’ in history, it’s unlikely that the rowover free school meals is going to go away anytime soon.
The Government has to date shown a surprising degree of stubbornness in resisting calls to extend the programme through the Christmas holidays – and it appears they have the support of the grassroots.
Why might this be? Some will doubtless reach for comforting caricatures of Victorian mill-owners, but as Jacob Rees-Mogg said in our latest Moggcast there is no suggestion on the Conservative benches that vulnerable young people shouldn’t get support. Instead, the row is over what the best way to help them is. This is borne out by the arguments advanced by Tory MPs in the recent debate, which we looked at previously.
It therefore seems reasonable to assume that members are taking the Prime Minister at his word that appropriate help will be made available in time, but recognise the practical and philosophical case against trying to get schools to feed children directly outside term time.