Free school meals and political grifting
Matt Hancock was challenged during an appearance on Good Morning Britain after insisting he was happy the ‘Free school meals’ policy was going ahead.
He said: “I’m really glad we’re able to send out food for those who receive free school meals when schools are in, and I’m really glad we’re able to do that when schools are out.”
Host Piers Morgan then challenged him on his voting record, saying: “If you’re that glad, can I ask you a question, why did you vote against it?”.
Mr Hancock failed to explain why his position had changed, responding: “The reason I’m glad now is because we’ve been able to sort that out and put it in place”.
Asked eight times in total why he voted against it, Mr Hancock repeatedly dodged the question.
“Let’s be honest, you got shamed into it by a football player (Marcus Rashford), a young football player with a conscience, who managed to prick the conscience of you and the government,” said Mr Morgan. “Do you regret now, given how glad you are that it’s now happening, do you regret voting against it?”
Mr Hancock replied that he is “of course” pleased the government could ensure free school meals were sent out during the current lockdown, but is interrupted by Mr Morgan, who says the answer should be “yes or no”.
“As I say, I’m really glad that it’s happening now… Put it this way, in the first lockdown, we took this action, and now,” Mr Hancock starts to say before being cut off once again by Mr Morgan, who says: “You either regret it or you don’t.”
“Well, I’m really glad the situation has been resolved,” said Mr Hancock, adding that he is “going to use my own words to describe my feelings about this one”.
“Let’s just hope we don’t have to rely again this week on Marcus Rashford to once again expose the inequity of this system, because these kids are in lockdown, they’re suffering, they’re hungry and they need the proper support from you as health secretary and the government,” concluded Mr Morgan.
Matt Hancock – I'm really glad that we can send out free school meals when schools are out.— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) January 13, 2021
Piers Morgan – If you're that glad… why did you vote against giving free school meals?#GMB pic.twitter.com/pGJxWYi0EX
The interview was described by viewers on social media as “excruciating” to watch, as the health secretary “squirmed” and appeared “utterly spineless”.