Labour's Education Minister Doesn't Know How Many Schools Need Kitchens For Free Meals

6 April 2017, 08:21 | Updated: 6 April 2017, 09:43

Labour have announced a plan to tax private school fees to pay for school meals. But when Nick Ferrari asked how many schools would need new kitchens, Labour's Shadow Education Minister Angela Rayner found herself floundering.

The party says the new policy will be paid for by charging VAT on private school fees.

But Nick Ferrari wanted to know how many schools have suitable kitchen facilities. And Ms Rayner didn't have an answer for that.

Nick asked what percentage don't have facilities and Ms Rayner responded: "That's not the issue."

After she failed to answer, Nick told her: "You come out with this flagship policy, every primary school child in the land will have a meal, which is obviously eye-catching for parents, and then you're asked a question 'well how many schools will have to put kitchens in?' and you actually have no idea do you?"

Ms Rayner responded: "In 2020, when this policy is introduced as part of our manifesto, there are some schools that won't need a specific kitchen within their facility because they will already have the facility by the use of the next door school all the provision, so it's not a simple percentage. It depends on what the provision is currently within those schools."

But Nick hit back: "Don't you think it would have been an idea to know. Wouldn't it been an idea to say 'We'll also have to commit - I'm going to make a figure up here - £100million to build kitchens in approximately 15% of schools have no kitchen facilities.'

"Because all we have at the moment is 'Every child is going to have a free school meal'. That's fantastic. 'What about is there a kitchen?' No idea, haven't got a clue. That's the reality. I'm going to quote that's reality what we're hearing. Unless there's a neighbouring school that can heat up Cornish Pasty."