Nicky Morgan tells Question Time that school meals motion might have got more votes if Tory MP hadn't been called scum

Harriet Brewis
·2-min read

A former Cabinet minister has said that the free school meals bid might have got more support if Labour's deputy leader hadn't called a Tory MP "scum" .

Angela Rayner made the insult at Chris Clarkson during a fiery Commons debate, hours before Labour motion supported by Marcus Rashford to extend free meals over the school holidays was defeated by 261 votes to 322 .

Speaking on Question Time, Nicky Morgan defended Parliament's decision not to pass the motion and said Labour had helped turned it into a "toxic debate".

Responding to MP Bridget Phillipson during a heated row, Baroness Morgan said: “I think the Labour Party might have found they got more supporters yesterday if the deputy Labour leader hadn’t called one of the Conservative MPs ‘scum’.

“We’ve heard comments saying that it’s unconscionable that the Government didn’t support this, well, if the Labour Party had really wanted support – and I think that Marcus Rashford complained about it being politicised – they wouldn’t have made it what’s called an ‘opposition day’ debate.

“There would be other ways to build a coalition in Parliament.”

The panel show’s host Fiona Bruce then asked her: “Was it a political reason then that the Government didn’t support it or did the Government not support it because it doesn’t believe in it?”

Baroness Morgan responded by arguing that the Government had already spent more than £300 million pounds this year on ensuring children are fed but acknowledged it could do more.

She then said: “But yesterday’s handling of the debate, watching that toxic debate in Parliament, watching the way that it was handled… Bridget knows if you want an issue really tackled, don’t put it down to an opposition day motion if you want to build a coalition in Parliament.”

Ms Phillipson then interjected: "So, kids go hungry this Christmas because you don't like the parliamentary process?"

Viewers were quick to criticise the former Culture Secretary MP.

One Twitter user commented: “Nicky Morgan, what have you become? Sad bad statement blaming the Labour Party for your lot voting to let kids go hungry. What nonsense.”

Another asked: “What mad mental gymnastics Nicky Morgan is doing here to defend not helping kids?”

And another tweeted: “Nicky Morgan saying that the Conservatives starved thousands of hungry children this winter on #bbcqt because one of their number were called 'scum' makes me want to cry. That is NOT okay.”

But other users condemned the politicisation of the issue.

One wrote: “Let’s face it, both main parties are making this about politics and not about the common interest of the people.

"We are in unprecedented times but MPs are looking to further their own career rather than looking after the people in the UK.

"Time to grow up."

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