Marcus Rashford up for the fight as Boris Johnson rejects Manchester United star’s plea for help in fighting against food poverty among children for a SECOND time
- Marcus Rashford has smashed through the 100,000 signatures on his petition
- Rashford, 22, can expect strong cross-party support in the Parliament debate
- Some Tory MPs are bemused by the rapid No 10 rejection of Rashford’s plea
- Among those backing it was former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Boris Johnson is facing more humiliation at the hands of Marcus Rashford after refusing for a second time to heed the player’s plea for help to ensure impoverished children are properly fed.
Within a few hours of Rashford launching a petition, a No 10 spokesman said it was ‘not for schools to regularly provide food to pupils during the school holidays’. But the Manchester United striker, 22, responded immediately via Twitter: ‘Merry Christmas kids… this is not going away anytime soon and neither am I.’
Rashford has smashed through the 100,000 signatures needed on his petition to trigger a debate on child food poverty in Parliament, where Sportsmail understands he can expect strong cross-party support.
Marcus Rashford is up for the fight after Boris Johnson rejected his poverty plea again
Johnson rejected the plea to have impoverished children properly fed for a second time
Some Tory MPs are bemused by such a flat and rapid No 10 rejection of Rashford’s plea to ensure children remain properly fed during the half-term and Christmas holidays.
And when a House of Commons debate takes place, Tory MP Robert Halfon, chair of the Education select committee, will spearhead support from his party’s ranks. Halfon has already questioned Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s non-committal response to Rashford.
Sportsmail understands that Rashford views the petition as a platform to demonstrate public backing to end child food poverty. Among those backing it were former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah.
Brown said: ‘Marcus Rashford deserves all our support. We hope we can see an immediate response from the Government before the autumn break to support low income families as we approach one of the toughest winters on record.’
Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Select Committee, will spearhead support from Tories
The Welsh Government has been the first to act, committing yesterday to holiday food provision for the foreseeable future. The PM has already been forced into one U-turn by Rashford’s persistence — initially refusing the player’s plea for the Government to keep paying for the £15-a-week food vouchers over the summer, then changing his mind amid public outcry.
After news of the latest rejection, Rashford responded: ‘It’s also not for food banks to feed millions of British children but here we are.
‘250 per cent increase in food poverty and rising… This is not going away anytime soon and neither am I.’
Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown is among those supporting Rashford’s plea