Nadhim Zahawi slammed for misleading free school meal comments

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the new Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi for misleading comments made on BBC Radio 4 last year about free school meals.

In October 2020, the minister claimed research showed families didn’t like meals being labelled as free and preferred “to pay a modest amount, £1 or £2”.

However, when asked to provide the research referred to by the former children’s minister, who also repeated the claim on Times Radio, the Department for Education said it was not aware of any that backed up his comments

Commenting on the appointment of Nadhim Zahawi, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said: “Gavin Williamson was the most incompetent Education Secretary in living memory, but with children having missed millions of school days, their futures hang in the balance.

Daisy Cooper MP

“This reshuffle won’t stop the rot to our education system caused by years of Conservative incompetence and neglect.

“Nadhim Zahawi has already shown he is completely out of touch with families after misleadingly claiming that parents would prefer to pay for free school meals. The new Minister could do with meeting Marcus Rashford to understand the harsh reality facing the most disadvantaged children.”

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