Manchester United star Marcus Rashford clashed with Wycombe MP Steve Baker on social media this morning over the issue of free meals for school children.

Rashford has been a vocal critic of the government policy, launching a petition calling for free school meals to be extended over holiday periods.

His comments come just hours after he scored a late winner for Manchester United in their clash with Paris Saint-Germain at an empty Parc des Princes last night. 

Labour will use a Commons vote today to call for free school meals to be extended over each school holiday from October half-term to Easter 2021.


Hundreds in Wycombe sign Marcus Rashford’s child food poverty petition

Wycombe MP Steve Baker on why he's arguing for scrutiny of Covid restrictions

The party claims analysis shows nearly one million children living in areas that are subject to Tier 2 and Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions are set to lose access to free school meals over the upcoming holidays.

The England forward engaged in a debate with Wycombe MP Steve Baker earlier this morning.

Rashford originally posted a series of tweets, arguing why the policy change should be implemented.

He said: "Paying close attention to the Commons today and to those who are willing to turn a blind eye to the needs of our most vulnerable children, 2.2M of them who currently qualify for Free School Meals. 42% newly registered. Not to mention the 1.5M children who currently don’t qualify.

"Since March 32% of families have suffered a drop in income... 13.2% rise in unemployment expected... We aren’t in the same position we were in in the Summer, it’s much worse. The number of children with little to no access to food has risen significantly.

“'If you feed children properly, you increase educational attainment, boost life chances and, therefore, cut costs in the long run.' The attainment gap btw between disadvantaged and those better off is estimated to be 75%. A result of school closures...

"Why keep punishing our most disadvantaged? Give our children a chance.

"All eyes on the Commons.

"And just for clarity, the #endchildfoodpoverty debate on a long-term sustainable framework to combat this issue is still to come.

"This is not going away and neither am I..." In response to the England forward's tweets, Steve Baker replied: "No one will be turning a blind eye and it is wrong to suggest anyone would.

"Not destroying the currency with excessive QE is also one of our duties.

Rashford followed this up with a response of "At least turn on your comments and let me respond Steve. I very much welcome conversation on this."

The Wycombe MP then tweeted: "You have 3.4M followers Marcus, to my 96K. The power is yours here.

"Everyone knows feeding hungry children is a top priority. I'd like to see UC boosted.

"But if the economy and currency collapse, the poor will be devastated.

"Alleging a blind eye is just wrong."

Rashford posted two more tweets in response, writing: "2018-19, it was recorded 9 out of 30 children in any given classroom were living in poverty in the UK. This was expected to rise by 1 million by 2022 prior to Covid hitting.

"This is not a Covid problem and these children haven’t been treated as a priority

"Myself and the Task Force continue to invite those in power to collaborate, sit around the table and collectively understand how we can support our most vulnerable children. The invitation is consistently met with...silence..."