Sadiq Khan Vows to Extend Free Primary School Meals for Children if Re-elected

Sadiq Khan Vows to Extend Free Primary School Meals for Children if Re-elected

London (Parliament News) – Sadiq Khan pledges to extend free primary school meals for London children if re-elected, aiming to make them permanent and universal, benefiting families and improving equality.

All primary school kids in London will enjoy free school feasts for another four years if Sadiq Khan is re-elected mayor, he pledged on Thursday. The landmark commitment forms the centrepiece of his 2024 mayoral campaign as he attempts to confirm a historic third term of office a fortnight today.

According to The Standard, Mr Khan first presented all pupils – regardless of their family’s wealth – complimentary lunches in State primaries from last September as a one-year emergency effort to alleviate the cost of living situation felt by many London parents.

When it became clear the universal policy was becoming hugely popular, he offered to extend it for a year if re-elected on May 2.

What Opposition Has Khan’s Plan Faced?

Earlier in the drive, Mr Khan’s Tory rival, Susan Hall, who had earlier pledged to retain it until the cost of living crisis lessened if elected, questioned whether it was right for” Londoners on the breadline” to be donating via their council tax to feed “children of millionaires”.

Ms Hall stated it would be a better use of taxpayers’ cash – and would enhance the quality of the meals – if they could be targeted at the most impoverished children in greatest need rather than offered on a universal basis.

What Prompted Khan’s Universal Meal Extension?

Mr Khan stated: “Free school meals have proved a lifeline during the worst decline in living standards on record. But they do much more besides.

“That meal can be the difference between a child realising their potential and falling short of it. That meal removes the shame of not having enough money to eat. That meal makes children feel equal.

“And that’s why, if I’m re-elected on May 2, we’ll make universal free school meals permanent for all state primary school pupils in London.”

How Does Khan’s Policy Address Inequality?

Labour evaluates the policy will save the average London family £500 per school year per child.

All 1,900 state primary schools in the capital are taking interest in the project, benefiting up to 287,000 kids a day. About 1.4m free lunches are served every week.

Jamie Oliver, the chef and campaigner, stated: “This is phenomenal news. Free school meals are changing the lives of all London primary school children. Not only should every child have the chance to be happy and healthful in the classroom, but we know free school meals help to promise them a brighter future too.”

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, who was anticipated to join Mr Khan at his manifesto takeoff despite the continuing controversy over the sale of her home, honoured him for “stepping in to help Londoners through the cost-of-living crisis”

She stated he had a plan to provide young Londoners “with a powerful foundation so they can thrive no issue where they come from” and to “break the connection between where you come from determining where you end up”.

How Will Khan Fund Universal School Meals?

Ms Hall’s spokesman claimed the free school meals commitment was “uncosted” and could result in less cash being paid on policing. He pointed out that the project has been funded by a combination of City Hall reserves and business rates to date.

Green mayoral candidate Zoe Garbett stated: “There are still thousands of secondary school children going hungry across the city and I believe City Hall can comfortably afford to provide free school meals to them as well.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.