Custom Search 1

Hackney mayor promises free school meals to migrant children

PLEDGE: Hackney mayor Philip Glanville has said the council will no longer deny children free school meals

THE MAYOR of Hackney has vowed to make sure that the children of migrants get free school meals.

Philip Glanville pledged that the council would no longer deny children access to free school meals, even if it meant funding them.

At a meeting held on citizenship in a hostile environment last week, Glanville said that children from families unable to afford lunches and provide documentation to prove their citizenship or right to benefits had been forced to witness their peers receive school meals.

“I want to absolutely campaign with NELMA [North East London Migrant Action] about changing this nationally, but I also want to do something about it here locally. If that means writing to schools and funding those school meals, I am going to be doing that,” The East London Lines reported Glanville said.

Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington Diane Abbott was also in attendance at the meeting.

She said: “It is really important to change the conversation about immigration. It starts with the way we talk about migration. It starts with the ‘otherisation’ of immigrants. There is a common debate about immigrants driving down wages, but that is not the case. It is predatory employers, it is weakened rights of trade unions and it is globalisation."

Abbott has been a vocal advocate of the Windrush Generation and critic of the government’s “hostile environment” policies.

“Another factor which gives rise to the issue of hostile environment is the system of immigrant detention. The idea of immigration detention was to deter people from coming here. But we were told that people in the centres will not be kept for more than 28 days. I am committed to closing down the immigration centres. And in the meantime, I believe that people should be detained for no more than 28 days,” The East London Lines also reported the shadow home secretary said.

Last month Hackney Council became the first local authority in the UK to pass the Windrush motion.

The motion includes a pledge to oppose the criminalisation of Windrush families and press the government to conduct a public enquiry into the crisis.

Glanville said the passing of the motion was not simply “gesture politics and solidarity”.

In response to the news that the government would be refusing some members of the Windrush Generation citizenship, Abbott said: “Sajid Javid has gone back on his promise. He’s asking for evidence from people that did not have it in the first place.”

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments