Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely, has come under attack on social media for voting against the opposition motion for families of disadvantaged children to be provided with £15 per week food vouchers during school holidays until Easter 2021.
The motion was defeated by 322 to 261, with the Island’s MP joining other Conservative MPs and one Independent MP by voting against it.
Criticised on Twitter
After the vote Bob tweeted his support for the Dept for Education’s tweet about how they are helping low income families. It led to 77 replies (at time of publishing) from other Twitter users critical of his voting record.
See their replies here.
7,300 Island children living in poverty
As reported last week by News OnTheWight, over 7,300 Island children are living in poverty.
Covid-19 has hit the job market on the Island with 5,045 people in the Isle of Wight area claiming ‘out of work benefits’ during September 2020, a rise of 3,000 compared to September 2019.
Despair from Rashford
Last night Manchester United strike, Marcus Rashford, who spearheaded a successful campaign earlier this year for families to be provided with food vouchers during the summer holidays, expressed his despair that the topic was being used to get “one-up each other”
Why Seely voted the way he did
News OnTheWight has approached Bob Seely, asking him to share his reason for voting against the motion – which garnered support from five of his Conservative colleagues, as well as one Alliance MP, one DUP MP, one Independent and 192 Labour MPs.
“There is already substantial additional support for Islanders, such as increased universal credit among other measures, which has already been put in place to help families through this crisis and to ensure children and their families do not go hungry. The Government has put in £9 billion extra into welfare support already and £63 million to help Councils support families in need, so significant additional help is already going to families on the Island and across Britain.
“I am very aware that many families are going through tough times at the moment, and this is reflected in the increasing numbers of children being registered for free school meals. “
Contact Bob if you are struggling
Bob went on to add,
“On this matter, my team and I are working hard to ensure Islanders get the support they need.
“However, if you or your family are struggling, I urge Islanders to contact me ([email protected])”
The Isle of Wight MP finished by saying,
“Ministers are monitoring this situation closely. I welcome the publication of the first part of the National Food Strategy, which will kick start a full review of our food system.
“I have read with interest the recommendations made in the report, in particular those concerning nutrition for disadvantaged families and children. A key recommendation is to expand the number of eligible children for free school meals by an additional 1.5 million, taking the total number of children to 2.6 million.
“The Coronavirus outbreak has made the importance of good nutrition for children even clearer. I know that Ministers will consider these recommendations carefully.”
1pm 22nd Oct 2020 – Comments from Bob Seely added