Wolverhampton MP says he and his family have had death threats over school meals vote

A Conservative MP says he and his family have received death threats after he voted against offering free meals to children during the school holidays.

The word 'scum' was sprayed on the constituency office of Stuart Anderson MP this morning
The word 'scum' was sprayed on the constituency office of Stuart Anderson MP this morning

Stuart Anderson was one of 322 MPs who last week voted against the Labour motion, which came after a campaign from Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford calling for an extension to the provision of free school meals.

Wolverhampton South West MP Mr Anderson said since the vote his constituency office in Chapel Ash has been vandalised three times and he and his family have been threatened.

He said he has reported the incidents to West Midlands Police.

Wolverhampton South West MP Stuart Anderson

Father-of-five Mr Anderson, said: "My office has been attacked again this morning. I've had threats against me, threats against my family, and my staff have been intimidated.

"I accept political arguments but you should not impact people's safety by targeted harassment and vandalism.

"I can take name-calling, but when my family have to fear for their safety, that's just disgusting."

He added: "I've been told to watch myself if I turn up anywhere. Other MPs have had a lot worse than me and some are afraid to go outside their house at the moment."

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Mr Anderson claimed Labour supporters had highlighted the location of his office in now-deleted posts on social media and "encouraged people to protest".

He says his office has now been targeted nine times since it opened in August.

Over the weekend – mirroring a protest outside Tory HQ in Southend West – it was covered in around 20 paper plates featuring messages about hungry children and a banner saying: "Your MP voted no to feeding poor kids".

This morning the word "scum" was scrawled across an office front window.

Empty plates on Stuart Anderson's office window in Chapel Ash

Mr Anderson, who received free school meals when he was growing up, has defended his opposition to the Labour motion, saying it was "the role of the wider welfare system to help families that require extra support" outside school term.

"We must also seek to address the issues which fuel demand for free school meals," he added.

Tory MPs were ordered to vote against the motion by Boris Johnson. Five of them rebelled but none of the rebels represent constituencies in the Black Country and Staffordshire.

Ministers have insisted there will be no Government U-turn on the plan, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying the "best way" to support people was by providing funding through councils.

Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Staffordshire councils have all agreed to fund free school meals during half term and several local businesses and charities have also stepped in to provide food for youngsters.

The Black Country and Staffordshire MPs who voted against extending free school meals to holidays:

  • Stuart Anderson, Wolverhampton South West

  • Jane Stevenson, Wolverhampton North East

  • Marco Longhi, Dudley North

  • Mike Wood, Dudley South

  • Suzanne Webb, Stourbridge

  • James Morris, Halesowen and Rowley Regis

  • Shaun Bailey, West Bromwich West

  • Nicola Richards, West Bromwich East

  • Eddie Hughes, Walsall North

  • Wendy Morton, Aldridge-Brownhills

  • Theo Clarke, Stafford

  • Sir Bill Cash, Stone

  • Michael Fabricant, Lichfield

  • Amanda Milling, Cannock Chase

  • Gavin Williamson, South Staffordshire

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