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People in Barry Join Empty Plate Protest


People in Barry have joined a nation-wide protest movement leaving empty plates outside the offices of MPs who voted against the extension of free school meals in England, through half term and the Christmas holidays in the House of Commons.

Alun Cairns, MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, was one of those who voted against the motion which was defeated by 322 votes to 261, with all but five of the Conservative members of parliament coming together to help ensure that the motion was rejected.

Free School Meals will be extended in Wales to every school holiday until Easter 2021, with Welsh Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, saying the move would provide “some reassurance in these times of uncertainty” at the time. 

Belinda Loveluck-Edwards, who stood against Cairns in the last General Election, acted as spokesperson for the people laying plates outside his office in Hood Road, Barry. She said many people in the Vale were disgusted at Cairns' claim that the attempt to give children the free school meals in the holidays was a political stunt, saying:

"The claim that the issue was a political stunt casts a dark shadow over the values he and his party claim to stand for.


"Laying plates in front of his office is hugely important as lunch is not a luxury in school holidays. Children do not determine how their lives are shaped in their early years. But Tory MPs like Mr Cairns simply don't understand this. 

"No child should ever go hungry, no child should ever face the burning shame of searching bins for scraps of food and no child in the Vale deserves an MP like Alun Cairns."

MP Cairns was also the target of graffiti referencing the aforementioned Commons vote which was daubed on the walls of buisnesses of the Hood Road area of Barry on Saturday.

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