SIR – Having voted against children in poverty receiving free meals in school holidays during the pandemic crisis, Robin Walker protests that his action was driven by his feeling affronted at way the debate was conducted in Parliament and the voting instrument that was used.

The issues of child poverty and starvation therefore seem to have taken a back seat to the feelings of Mr Walker, his colleagues and the party whip. Would it be inappropriate therefore, to suggest that his real concern was with which side his bread is buttered?

Unfortunately, Mr Walker, the children concerned do not have the luxury of making such voting choices themselves. Sometimes they need responsible adults to help them, not just to alleviate the worst effects of poverty, but to learn lessons in life as well as in school. What they have been taught in this case is, at best, disappointing.

Paul Moreton



SIR – Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that every child has the right to clean water and healthy food. The United Kingdom, under the Conservatives, signed the convention 30 years ago.

The right to food is a basic human right and children are not in a place to procure or produce their own food, we are in the midst of a pandemic which is adversely affecting the income of families across the nation.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation recently highlighted the need to improve the earnings of low-income families and reported that since Universal Credit was first rolled out the number of working families in poverty has increased. The Trussell Trust reports a year-on-year growth in use of foodbanks across the nation. Households across Worcester regularly give donations to various organisations who aim to help families in need.

The order paper for October 21 contained a motion calling on the government “to continue directly funding provision of free school meals over the school holidays until Easter 2021 to prevent over a million children going hungry during this crisis”.

Worcestershire MPs who voted against this motion claim that it was inherently critical of the Government’s record and that to vote in favour would explicitly be a vote against their record.

I have found it difficult to identify what could possibly have offended our MPs. I, for one, remain mystified why our MPs voted against this motion and in favour of leaving Worcestershire’s vulnerable children go hungry, especially over Christmas.

Robyn Norfolk


SIR – What a disgraceful response by all the Worcestershire MPs who voted down the provision of school meals for needy children during holidays.

Robin Walker MP called it a political stunt by Labour to suggest that the Government provide these. This sounds just like a Donald Trump excuse.

It is Mr Walker and the other Worcestershire MPs that are playing politics, following the party line in order to save their lucrative jobs. Playing politics with needy and hungry children.

The Tories can spend billions with their friends Serco on a ‘test and trace’ system that does not work, paying some people £7,000 per day, can spend £3 billion on  projects that they are refusing to disclose and further wastage and yet refuse to fund such a simple act of humanity.

Shame on you Mr Walker and the other Worcestershire MPs. I hope the electorate remember this at the next election but I doubt they will.

Terry James

Drakes Broughton

• What do you think? Do you agree with the MPs' reasons for voting as they did? Write to