No 10 under growing pressure to U-turn over free school meals

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Tory MPs angry at damage from government’s refusal to support Marcus Rashford’s campaign

Downing Street is under mounting pressure to perform a U-turn on providing free school meals over the holidays in England, with Conservative MPs growing angry at the damaging impact of the government’s refusal to back down in the face of the campaign led by the footballer Marcus Rashford.

The Guardian understands that discontent is brewing behind the scenes among Conservatives, as Labour attempted to seize the initiative on Sunday when its leader, Keir Starmer, pledged to force a fresh Commons vote on the issue before Christmas unless there was a rethink.

The move came after his party’s motion to extend the policy until Easter 2021 was defeated last week in parliament.

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