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Tories in new U-turn as ministers scrap plans for free primary school breakfasts

Tories in new U-turn as ministers scrap plans for free primary school breakfasts

Emilio Casalicchio

1 min read

The Government has quietly U-turned on plans to offer free breakfast to all primary school pupils in a fresh embarrassment for Theresa May.

After dodging questions on the issue last week, Children’s Minister Robert Goodwill finally admitted ministers “will not be pursuing” the plan.

It is the latest in the long line of embarrassing U-turns for the Government and follows the loss of its majority at the general election.

The Conservative manifesto pledged to scrap universal free school lunches for primary school children.

Instead, it promised every primary school child a free breakfast to start their day - which it originally said would cost 7p per meal.

In a written answer slipped out after parliament rose for its summer recess, Mr Goodwill said the Government “will not be pursuing universal breakfasts for primary school children”.

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said it was “yet another humiliating U-turn on education policy from Theresa May’s weak and wobbly government”.

“Their claims that free school meals were unaffordable and that they would provide free breakfasts instead have now been abandoned alongside so many of the promises they made just weeks ago,” she told Schools Week.

“How can anyone now believe a word they say?”

The Government has already had to backtrack on plans for a new wave of grammar schools, as well as plans to revolutionise social care funding and means test the winter fuel allowance.

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