I’m so proud of the parents, teachers, children, voters, and, the politicians unwilling to walk the line who’ve come together to save school lunches.
How on earth did Theresa May’s tiny group of Manifesto writers think it was a good idea to rob our youngest, most vulnerable kids of a proper nutritious meal, and lose 17,000 jobs in the process? I said she’d regret it. We all knew it would be a disaster. Theresa May’s own party even knew it too.
It took Theresa May 60 years to learn what most of us leant on our first day at school – don’t mess with dinner ladies! Over 80,000 people work in our school kitchens across the UK, that’s a bigger workforce than the Royal Navy. And in my view, they’re all absolute heroes. They feed our kids and look after their health. And yet, as is so often the case for all the lovely people who work in our schools, they get nowhere near the love and respect they deserve.
Of the 18 Ministers I’ve worked with in my career from all parties, I never thought we’d have to fight to protect a party’s own school dinner policy. Now that the plan to drop Universal Infant Free School Meals has been cut from the Queen’s Speech we’ve clawed ourselves back to square one. So come on guys – let’s get on with the job in hand: building a proper, ambitious childhood obesity strategy that’ll get our children eating well and will give them the best start in life.