Bob Seely voted to ‘remove free school meals from struggling families’ say Labour (Update 2)

Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, was one of those who voted down a Labour Party bid to stop more than one million children (of future Universal Credit claimants) lose their entitlement to free school meals. IW Labour responds.

school meals

Julian Critchley shares this latest news on behalf of the Isle of Wight Labour Party.
Update 14:00 Since publishing, Channel 4 has carried out a Fact check on both Labour claims and Government position on this. The release from the Children’s Society is also of relevance. Ed

The Isle of Wight Labour Party utterly condemns Bob Seely’s vote last night (Tuesday) to remove free school meals from struggling families on the Isle of Wight.

Yesterday in the House of Commons, Mr Seely voted to remove free school meals from up to a million English children.

Change to Universal Credit rules
Currently all families on Universal Credit can claim free school meals. However, from 1st April, children in Year 3 and above on Universal Credit in England will not normally be eligible if their parents earn more than £7,400.

The Children’s Society has said the “huge step backwards” means “one million children in poverty who could benefit now won’t”, as more families move onto Universal Credit in future.

Affecting 1000s IW families
This could affect thousands of families on the Isle of Wight as Universal Credit is rolled out across the Island.

Island Labour’s Parliamentary spokesperson, Julian Critchley, said:

“Bob Seely’s vote to deny free school meals to poor children on the Island is a disgrace. We have thousands of families struggling to manage on the Island as a result of the Government’s austerity policies. We already have children who are reliant on foodbanks. Yet Mr Seely has now voted to deny them perhaps the only hot meal they would have got during the day.”

Free school meals protected in Northern Ireland
He went on to say,

“What makes this even more appalling is that, before removing food from children on the Isle of Wight and across the rest of England, Mr Seely’s Conservative colleagues first made sure that free school meals were protected in Northern Ireland, in order to ensure that the Democratic Unionist Party voted with them to impose these cuts on England.

“Taking free school meals away from our Island’s poorest children is callous even by the shocking standards of this Government. Using the Unionists to push their cuts through against Labour opposition, when those Unionists knew their own children were protected by the Tories’ squalid deal, is sickening.”

Harming the most vulnerable
Julian finished by saying,

“Once again, there is a vast gulf between the warm words Bob utters about his concern for the welfare of the Islanders, and the votes he pushed through in Westminster which harm the most vulnerable amongst us.”

Update 14:00 Added link to Channel 4 fact check.
Update 14:55 Added link to Children’s Society .

Image: usdagov under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 14th March, 2018 7:26am



Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Youth

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16 Comments on "Bob Seely voted to ‘remove free school meals from struggling families’ say Labour (Update 2)"

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Voting this way just highlights how Bob Seely is only in it for the privileged. This government manoeuvring is callous in the extreme and the fact that a handful of DUP MPs can influence a policy that does not effect their own constituents cannot be right. If anyone was in any doubt that Seely is more interested in his own PR than he is in the welfare… Read more »

Problem is there are too many privileged households on our Island who will not be able to conceive what poverty is like and who will continue to vote for this dreadful man who speaks with forked tongue!

Considering Bob Seely was at the Isobel Centre on Pan estate on Saturday, with his concerned face on, it just goes to show how much lip-service it all was. Child poverty is running at nearly 30% on the island and parents earning over £7400 will not automatically get free school meals for Year 3 and above children, honestly? Some families will now have to find the cost… Read more »
Geoff Brodie

Before he visited Pan last Saturday, I sent the MP a briefing on the area that advised him that official data indicated that local children living in poverty was at 41.4%. With this vote he has shown the Pan community that he couldn’t care less about that appalling figure.

Matt Edmunds

I wish you’d stop referring to him as Bob. That’s what he wants to be called in order to appear as a down-to-earth ‘man of the people’. It humanises him far too much.


Robert William Henry Seely is a bit of a mouthful though…


When, oh, when will people realise that if you vote for a Tory, you get a Tory?
Cap’n Bob simply votes as the Tory whips tell him; how else will he secure promotion?
Still, a lot of blue-rinsed old ladies will not even register this news and guess what? We’ll get a Tory puppet next time as well.


Not exactly a ‘free thinking man’ is he? Just like his predecessor! Ya votes for a Tory, ya loses all humanity… But they keep getting voted in by folk who think the poor exist over the water, not here! Perhaps, one day, common sense will prevail, but maybe not for a couple of generations.


Re: electrickery

I strongly object to your comment which was highly sexist and unfounded.

How do you know any ladies with blue rinse voted?

How many grey haired men voted?

How many ginger haired people voted?

(I hasten to add I am not ablue rinse lady)


Well said. (nor am I!)

It’s a shame that Labour decided to over egg this. I’d be surprised if many people’s minds commenting below have been swayed – they hated the Tories before and hate them now. The Channel 4 site (hardly right wing) gives some more perspective – it’s about 2 hypothetical futures, both of which have more children getting free school meals than the old system. If Labour are to… Read more »
Not this cheesy old nonsense again. Apparently we scaremongered when we said that there was an option to cut St Mary’s by 50%: there was. We were also “scaremongering” when we alerted people to the threat to the fire service which the Tories were trying to push through, forcing them to delay when the public got wind of it. And now we’re “over-egging” the Tory vote last… Read more »
How is it ‘cheesy old nonsense’? I’m saying that there’s probably a lot of people who would agree with free school meals, maybe even universally. Labour should say so and say it proudly. The over-egging is talk of taking food away from people which isn’t happening. When you say ‘stripping away their only hot meal’, that’s not what’s happening, though. There is no one currently getting a… Read more »
There is a list of responsibilities that come when you have children. At the top of that list is ‘be able to feed them.’ It is an appalling state of affairs when so many people are incapable of fulfilling this basic task, and I would say that parents who cant feed their kids are inflicting cruelty. And what are we to think will happen to these children… Read more »
I take it no ‘life-events’ have ever happened to you then fedupbritain? Never lost a job, or a spouse or a partner, became ill? All or any of us can find ourselves in a rapidly downward spiral and need the help of society to get back up again. With illness some will never pull out of the spiral and a civilised society should help, not walk by… Read more »

People bringing people into this world need to take responsibility for their actions and not expect everyone else to pick up the tab. After all they get dole, tax credits, family allowance, free health care, and all the rest of it. Who is going to stand up for the taxpayers who are now being asked to stump up for the kids’ lunch.