A lack of free meals may prevent more MPs from charities


The nation-wide damaging vote on 21st October by Jo Gideon MP and 320 of her colleagues to prevent low income families to receive Free Meals During School Holidays for their children has led to her and three other MPs from being dismissed from a charity called Feeding Britain. The three other MPs had all backed the free meals, but the damage by Jo Gideon in the policy which was opposed to this charity brought the involvement of other MPs and Jo Gideon to an end. Two of them are Labour MPs Liz Kendall and former shadow children’s minister Emma Lewell-Buck and the other MP is a Scottish National Party member called Chris Stephens. In reality this charity is not very consistent as most charities do not have MPs as Trustees. Along with these four MPs who were Trustees up until a few days ago. The trustees for this charity also include Frank Field who was a Labour MP and then an Independent MP until December and he is now a crossbench member of the House of Lords. Also Heidi Allen who was a Conservative MP and then a Liberal MP until December. According to this article, the Charity has announced it is to create a separate cross-party parliamentary council of MPs and peers and no longer allow MPs to be trustees. One of the interesting elements is that the Chair of the charity is Rosie Boycott who is a crossbench member of the House of Lords so the political involvement is still significant with her and Frank Field as Trustees. In Brighton and Hove there were pressures placed upon Councillors and Council workers to avoid becoming Trustees as I recall from back in the early part of the 2000. That said I did know of several Councillors who were Trustees and it is very clear that charities need the support of MPs and Lords if they are in the right position. However the balance is that the Conservative Party demonstrated its lack of confidence towards charities back in 2013 when it introduced a law to prevent charities from challenging the Government. This makes the support for this charity which was set up in 2015 by Jo Gideon and Heidi Allen very interesting. However the rejection of MPs by Feeding Britain could very easily get adopted by other charities in the near future.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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