More pressure on UK government over free meals for disadvantaged children

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By Everton Gayle  &  Tadhg Enright
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson   -  Copyright  Euronews

The British government is facing mounting pressure from former ministers over meals for children at risk during the school holidays.

The government had extended a scheme to provide eligible children with free meals during the Easter holidays.

It did the same over the summer after a high-profile campaign led by the Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.

But last week the government directed its MPs to vote down a Labour a motion that would have extended the scheme until next Easter 2021.

Some of those Conservative MPs have since seen protests outside their offices.

Boris Johnson, the prime minister, said the best way to deal with the issue was by increasing the funds available for universal credit. He said this had been raised by £1,000 (€1,102) a year, and that more funding had been put into local councils.

But Kelly Barnes, a mother of four, said: "It’s embarrassing having to ask someone to support the children that you created. But when you have no other option what are you supposed to do?"