8,393 schoolchildren in Lewisham will lose out on free lunches, under plans announced in the Conservative manifesto.

Free school lunches for pupils from Reception to Year 2 were introduced by the Liberal Democrats in government, but Theresa May now plans to scrap them. The changes would cost families an average extra £480 a year for every child.

By contrast, the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto includes a pledge to extend free school meals to all primary school children.

Emily Frith, the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary Candidate for Lewisham East, said:

“The Liberal Democrats fought for free school lunches in government, and we’re fighting for them as the country’s real opposition party.

“Not only are we against the Conservatives’ plans to take free school lunches away from 8,400 children in Lewisham – we’d make sure that every primary school child received free school meals.”

John Russell, our candidate for Lewisham West and Penge, added:

“With prices on the rise, the last thing parents need is extra pressure on their budgets. My party, the Liberal Democrats, would prevent this from happening.

“Extending free school meals to all primary school children is a policy we can be proud of. No parent would have to worry about the cost of a healthy diet for their child.”

Bobby Dean, our candidate for Lewisham Deptford, said:

“Free school meals for all primary school children is the fair option – particularly for the children themselves. No-one will be bullied for standing out. Everyone will benefit from hot, healthy meals.

“And it’s fair for taxpayers too. To bring the obesity epidemic to an end, and reduce the burdens on the NHS, we need to start with what children eat.”

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