Rashford’s message to government after ‘great conversation’ with Boris Johnson

Marcus Rashford has sent a message to the Government after a "great conversation" with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying "now is the time for collaboration".

Rashford's campaign to end child hunger has gripped the nation, with the Manchester United striker's petition to extend free meals into the school holidays gaining more than one million signatures.

Tory MPs backed Johnson call to vote down a Labour bid which would have extended support to struggling parents through the October half-term.

And the PM has refused to extend free schools meals over the upcoming Christmas break – although he did pledge that no child would go hungry over the winter break.

But Rashford is not giving up on his crusade, and took to social media to say he had spoken to Johnson.

He shared a positive message on Twitter, calling on all parties to work together to fight child hunger.

"Just had a great conversation with the Prime Minister, now is the time for collaboration," Rashford tweeted, along with a union jack flag.

Rashford's tweet attracted 36,000 likes and 2,400 retweets within half an hour of being posted.

The Manchester United star’s mission to ensure no child goes hungry has gripped the nation and caused a major headache for the Government who have opposed funding his campaign.

During half-term, more than 2,000 paediatricians signed a letter urging Mr Johnson to extend free school meals to vulnerable children during the holidays – saying childhood hunger should “transcend politics”.

Members of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said they were shocked by the Government’s “refusal” to do so, and praised Rashford for his “powerful campaigning” on the issue.

Businesses and organisations across England delivered free food to children from low-income backgrounds after Tory MPs rejected a bid from Labour, backed by the Manchester United star, to extend free school meals over the holidays until Easter.

Labour warned it will bring the issue back to the House of Commons if ministers do not change course in time for Christmas.

In Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Johnson was asked to commit to extending school meals over the festive break.

He did not pledge to do so, but instead said: "Mr Speaker this Government will ensure that no child goes hungry this Christmas through inattention or inactivity by the Government."

Rashford has won high praise for his work raising the issue of child food poverty, and was recently awarded an MBE and recognised at the Mirror's Pride of Britain awards.

The striker played in United's 3-1 Premier League win over Everton on Saturday.

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