Marcus Rashford's campaigning forced the Tories to U-Turn on free school meals

Boris Johnson just announced a £120m “Covid summer food fund” thanks in no small part to the nation's fave new footballer.

by Danil Boparai
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16 June 2020, 1:53pm

If you’d told us a year ago that the economic impact of a global pandemic had forced Boris Johnson and his cronies into digging up the ‘magic money tree’ to put a large amount of the country on a version of universal income known as ‘furlough’, we probably wouldn’t have believed you.

If you’d then told us that despite this fact, the very same government would have blocked children of the nation’s poorest families (who need food to like, grow and mentally function) from having free school dinners this summer, after disjointed term time caused by the same pandemic... Well, we probably would have believed you actually.

Luckily for us, footballer-turned-campaigner Marcus Rashford, like Raheem Sterling before him, decided to use his platform to support campaigners and make a change.

On Monday, Marcus posted a much retweeted open letter to MP’s demanding a U-turn, which also outlined how his own family had relied on breakfast clubs and free school meals during his upbringing, highlighted that BAME children in Britain were disproportionately affected by poverty and poignantly pointed out; "this is not about politics; this is about humanity."

But the Man Utd and England striker didn’t stop there. Marcus then articulately presented his argument on BBC Breakfast, before running an effective Twitter campaign focused on the UK’s poverty gap until a government spokesman announced that BoJo had been forced to make the highly embarrassing U-Turn we all wanted to see.

Thankfully, families who had been entitled to free school meals will now get a one-off voucher to spend in supermarkets at the end of the school term, arise Sir Marcus!

While we reported our pathetic excuse for a PM was scrapping proposed changes to the Gender Reformation Act earlier this week, Boris ‘King of the Backtrack’ Johnson and his government luckily seem to at least seen sense on this decision. It just took a 22-year-old Premier League footballer -- one maligned by the right wing tabloid press for being young, rich and Black -- to exercise his Twitter fingers. Can you sort out Brexit next please Rashy?

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COVID-19