Labour councillors are calling on Harlow’s MP to push for free school meal vouchers to be made available while schools are closed for holidays.

In a letter to Robert Halfon MP, Labour councillors stressed the vouchers were a “lifeline for many families in Harlow, ensuring children do not go hungry and get a nutritious meal.”

The Conservative MP, who has represented Harlow since 2010, dismissed the letter saying he had been working on the issue “long before the letter was released”.

Signed by 20 Labour councillors, the letter said: “As MP for Harlow and chair of the education select committee, we are sure you are aware of how vital free school meals are to a lot of families in Harlow.

During these unprecedented times we are asking you to lobby for free school meal vouchers to be made available to eligible parents who currently benefit from the scheme during the formal school holidays.”

On May 13, Mr Halfon, chair of the education select committee, wrote to children's minister Vicky Ford calling on the government to continue free school meals during school holidays.

In the letter Mr Halfon also addressed issues and “lengthy delays” experienced by teachers and parents in obtaining the vouchers.

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