James O'Brien caller's theory on reason behind Government's school meals vote

26 October 2020, 12:00 | Updated: 26 October 2020, 12:01

By Fiona Jones

This James O'Brien caller gave her theory as to why the Government voted against providing free school meals for children during the holidays in England.

The Labour Party tabled a motion calling for the extension of free meals until Easter 2021 last week, but it was defeated with a Commons majority of more than 60, with just five Tory MPs breaking ranks to vote with the opposition.

Caller Natalie from Taunton theorised, "I think it's a loyalty test. The people who voted for the Labour [policy] will find themselves very much out in the cold the next time they need a hand with anything or the next time there's a general election.

"I think [Dominic Cummings] was testing the water to see who would do anything."

James surmised that she was suggesting the ultimate way to test loyalty was to see if MPs would "vote for something disgusting."

"Partly, yeah, because we've seen it with the Cabinet are there because they were loyal," she said, "every single mistake they make is covered up."

James agreed, "That's what they were promised. That's the trade-off - is that they have impunity."

"I think what's happening now is the same thing's happening with the rank and file MPs and the ambitious ones who maybe think they've got a future are thinking 'oh I better not go against the Government'," said Natalie.

James reflected that maybe U-turning in June and providing school meals during the holidays "adds to her analysis of loyalty" because now the Cabinet want MPs to do the opposite of what they did in June.

"They've already got a Cabinet full of sycophants and yes-men, there's no dissent in the Parliamentary party at all, how much more loyalty do they need to the lies?" James asked.

Natalie maintained that the for the next campaign in four years they will have all the rank and file MPs "by the scruff of the neck."