Free School Meal Eligibility Cuts Go Ahead After Tory MPs Vote For Universal Credit Changes

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Tory MPs have voted for controversial cuts to free school meals in England – despite protecting Northern Ireland from similar curbs.

Labour staged a last-gasp bid to block the changes to universal credit benefit thresholds, but was defeated by 312 votes to 254.

Crucially, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – which is propping up Theresa May’s government – failed to back Labour’s motion.

In a rare English-only breakdown of the vote, the Commons deputy speaker revealed the Labour move was defeated by 282 to 214 votes.

Charities and other campaigners claim that the welfare reforms mean that up to a million children will be denied eligibility for free lunches.

The statistic was based on what would happen if current transitional arrangements, which give every family on universal credit the right to free school meals, were rolled out nationwide. 

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