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Jacob Rees-Mogg Blasts UNICEF For Feeding UK's Hungry Kids

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Jacob Rees-Mogg Blasts UNICEF For Feeding UK's Hungry Kids

Jacob Rees-Mogg has blasted UNICEF for feeding hungry children in the UK.

The Conservative MP said the international organisation should be 'ashamed' for allowing a grant of £25,000 to provide food for kids in south London.

UNICEF - the United Nations Children's Fund, which is known to offer relief and humanitarian aid to some of the poorest parts of the world - offered assistance to the UK for the first time in its entire 70-year history.

The money will see around 1,800 children fed over Christmas.

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Responding to Labour MP Zarah Sultana, who denounced the 'grotesque inequality' in the Commons and across the country, Mr Rees-Mogg said: "It's a real scandal that UNICEF should be playing politics in this way when it is meant to be looking after people in the poorest and most deprived countries in the world, where people are starving, where there are famines and there are civil wars - and they make cheap political points of this kind, giving, I think, £25,000 to one council.

"It is a political stunt of the lowest order. UNICF should be ashamed of itself."

Jacob Rees-Mogg blasted UNICEF over the 'political stunt'. Credit: PA
Jacob Rees-Mogg blasted UNICEF over the 'political stunt'. Credit: PA

Ms Sultana had criticised the Leader of the House and his colleagues in government for not doing their bit to use their wealth to help those in the UK who desperately need it.

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She said: "From Tory donors handed billions in dodgy contracts to people like the Leader of the House, who is reportedly in line to receive an £800,000 dividend payout this year.

"So will (he) give Government time to discuss the need to make him and his super-rich chums pay their fair share so that we can end the grotesque inequality that scars our society?"

Her comments were backed by Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, who said it was the government and Mr Rees-Mogg who should be 'ashamed' of themselves over the matter.

She told the House: "In one of the richest countries in the world, our children should not be forced to rely on a charity that usually works in war zones and in response to humanitarian disasters.

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"The only scandal here is this rotten Tory government leaving 4.2 million children living in poverty, a number that will only rise due to the coronavirus crisis."

This comes after UNICEF announced that it had given a grant of £25,000 to School Food Matters, a charity that will provide thousands of breakfast boxes during the two-week break over the festive period to children in Southwark.

Speaking about the initiative, Anna Kettley, director of programmes at Unicef UK, said: "This is UNICEF's first ever emergency response within the UK, introduced to tackle the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus crisis and reach the families most in need.

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"The grant for School Food Matters will address the gap in current provision for children, providing approximately 1,800 children with breakfast bags during the Christmas holidays and February half term.

"This funding will help build stronger communities as the impact of the pandemics worsen, but ultimately a longer-term solution is needed to tackle the root causes of food poverty, so no child is left to go hungry."

Earlier this year, MPs in the House of Commons voted against extending the free school meal provision over the half-term holidays.

It was only due to pressure on numerous occasions from Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford that Boris Johnson and his government made a U-turn and offered to extend the provision over the Christmas break and beyond.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, Christmas, lockdown, UK politics, Manchester United, Pandemic, schools, England, Marcus Rashford, Coronavirus, Boris Johnson, Politics

Dominic Smithers
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