Marcus Rashford’s campaign to extend children’s free school meals throughout summer holidays was a success, after causing Boris Johnson to do u-turn.
The 22-year-old Man United star has now been praised by Boris Johnson for his highly personal campaign, which has forced the government to change its policy.
The government announced on Tuesday a one-off campaign to feed 1.3million children in England over the six-week summer period, with £120 million in funds.
Marcus Rashford’s social media campaign received huge backing from celebrities and football clubs, but Rashford says it’s ‘not the end of it’.
In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Rashford said he was ‘shocked’ by the decision, adding: “It’s a big decision for someone to make and I’m just grateful that the Prime Minister did change his decision and he understood.
“I spoke to him and thanked him for that. It’s a nice feeling but I’m just happy that people’s lives, and people’s summers especially, have been changed for the better.”
But Rashford went on to explain that people struggle ‘all year round’, saying: “I think this is only going to be successful throughout the summer period so we’ve bought ourselves six weeks of time now to plan and figure out what’s next and keep taking steps forward”.
Rashford wrote an open letter to the government on Monday, asking them to reverse the decision on not awarding free school meal vouchers to vulnerable children outside of term time.
Amid the pressure, the Government said it would provide a Covid Summer Food Fund to help those families that face ‘unprecedented situation’ over the holidays.
When talking about his phone call with Boris Johnson, Rashford said they ‘understood each other’ and that it was ‘a nice conversation to have with him’
Rashford said: “He was just grateful that someone had an opinion and shared it with people.
“Being that voice for people who didn’t really have the platform to speak out as much as they would like to.”
Rashford added: “I don’t want this to be the end of it because I think there are more steps that need to be taken, so we just need to analyse the response.
“Things like data in these type of topics are very important, and it is something that I wasn’t aware of beforehand, and now that I am aware of that I’ll definitely be watching that closely and seeing the response and how people cope with the situation, how it changes their lives for the better or the problems they might face with the system.
“So there are a lot of things that could change in the future and beyond this campaign.”
The payment for the free school dinner extension is expected to be in the form of a one-off six-week voucher, given to eligible families at the end of the term to use in supermarkets.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said the vouchers will amount to £15 per week per child and that 1.3 million children will be eligible.
The government made it clear the scheme will not continue beyond the summer.
Meat Loaf has died aged 74
The singer’s agent confirmed the tragic news this morning
Iconic singer and actor Meat Loaf has died at the age of seventy-four, his agent confirmed this morning.
A cause of death is yet to be announced.
The American musician – real name Marvin Lee Aday – reportedly died on January 20th with his wife Deborah by his side.
His family said in a statement: “Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends.
“His amazing career spanned 6 decades that saw him sell over 100 Million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne’s World.
The statement, which was posted today on his official Facebook page, also said: “Bat Out of Hell remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time.
“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man.
“We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time.
“From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!”
Drivers and passengers face £1,000 fines for opening their door incorrectly under new Highway Code rule
Here’s everything you need to know…
Drivers and passengers across the UK have been warned about a new Highway Code rule change that could land them with a hefty fine.
The new rule, which has been put in place to protect cyclists, will fine drivers and passengers as much as £1,000 if they open their car door incorrectly.
Instead of just opening the door, motorists will now need to adopt the ‘Dutch Reach’ technique, which involves you using the hand furthest from the door to open it – if you’re the one behind the wheel, you’d use your left hand, on the passenger side, you would use your right, just to clear it up a bit.
This technique has been proven to be safer because opening the door with the hand furthest away prompts a driver to turn their body towards the door, therefore giving them a look over their shoulder as they go to exit their vehicle.
This way, they will clock any cyclists or pedestrians approaching or passing by their car that they may have otherwise missed if they hadn’t have checked.
The new section under rule 239 will read: “Where you are able to do so, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening; for example, use your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side.
“This will make you turn your head to look over your shoulder. You are then more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists or motor cyclists passing you on the road, or to people on the pavement.”
If someone injures a cyclist or pedestrian by opening their door without checking, they could face a fine of up to £1,000, though no penalty points can be added to the offender’s licence.
This comes as the Highway Code undergoes a number of rule changes in favour of pedestrians and cyclists; a new section under rule 186 states that road users will now be forced to give priority to cyclists on roundabouts.
The rule, expected to come into force from January 29th, states: “You should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout. They will be travelling more slowly than motorised traffic.
“Give them plenty of room and do not attempt to overtake them within their lane. Allow them to move across your path as they travel around the roundabout.”
The rule change will also require motorists to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions, pedestrians waiting to cross the road into which or from they are turning, as well as pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.
The new rule has been introduced in an attempt to ensure that road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.
You can read the new rules in full here.
People who test positive for Covid in England won’t have to self-isolate soon
‘The self-isolation regulations expire on March 24th, at which point I very much expect not to renew them’
The legal requirement to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid will by dropped ‘by March’, Boris Johnson has announced this week.
The Prime Minister told MPs during yesterday’s PMQs that the rule will be allowed to be lapsed when all Covid regulations expire on March 24th, adding that this date could even be brought forward to a closer date if a vote is passed.
Johnson told MPs: “As we return to Plan A, the House will know that some measures still remain, including those on self-isolation.
“On Monday we reduced the isolation period to five full days with two negative tests, and there will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.
“As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others.
“The self-isolation regulations expire on March 24th, at which point I very much expect not to renew them.”
Under the current guidance, those who test positive for Covid have to quarantine for at least five full days, so long as they test negative on a lateral flow test on days five and six.
Also at yesterday’s PMQs, the Prime Minister announced that restrictions on visits to care homes will be eased further, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid to begin setting out plans ‘in the coming days’.
It was also confirmed that from Thursday January 27th, mandatory Covid passes will no longer be needed and people will not be asked to work from home where possible.
Johnson added that face masks will not be mandatory anywhere from this date, prompting loud cheers and shouts from the Tory back benches.
And from today, face masks are no longer required to be worn by students in classrooms.