Naga Munchetty rips into MP Ben Bradley over Marcus Rashford tweets

BBC Breakfast star Naga Munchetty has ripped into Conservative MP Ben Bradley over his take on free school meals and his tweets to footballer Marcus Rashford.

This week, Tory MPs voted down Marcus’ campaign to extend free school meals over the half term and Christmas holidays.

Following the vote, Mansfield MP Ben Bradley tweeted the Manchester United footballer, saying: ‘Dear @MarcusRashford. We have a difference of opinion. I voted to target funding more closely at those most in need. I dont believe FSM is a good indicator of that.

‘Can I invite you to one of the country’s most deprived schools to come discuss with the Head (who agrees with me)?’

He later listed the school in question as Oak Tree Primary, as he continued to tweet the footballer.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Bradley was grilled by presenter Munchetty, who referenced a tweet from a governor at the school.

She said: ‘A governor at that school has responded, saying: “Unfortunately for you I am a governor at that very school. I have just spoken to the head and I can assure you that our view is very much that the kids need free school meals vouchers. I ask you to correct this and not give false impressions of a school who fights tooth and nail for their kids.”‘

Bradley responded: ‘Naga, I have no wish to draw any of my local schools into an argument, indeed-‘

Munchetty interjected: ‘But you did, didn’t you? By inviting Marcus Rashford to come to a school.’

‘Inadvertently, and I would like Marcus to come to [the] school,’ the MP responded. ‘That invitation remains open. I have no reason to fall out with Marcus. The point I’m simply making is that I think the state can add to what’s happening within our communities, that broad community support to help local people.’

Fans have applauded the presenter for her interview, with one writing: ‘Go Naga Munchetty. Skewering Ben Bradley. Beautiful. #BBCBreakfast. It’s government’s job to feed hungry children if their parents can’t. It’s a safety net.’

Another added: ‘Naga Munchetty calmly dismantling Ben Bradley’s revolting views is a wonderful sight. #BBCBreakfast.’

One more said: ‘Naga Munchetty ripping Ben Bradley a new one is my jam.’

Previously defending his stance, Bradley tweeted: ‘There is no sense whatsoever in pretending to ourselves that just giving 1.4m kids free meals in hols fixes things. Many kids don’t need it, and many in genuine need won’t benefit from it due to extreme lives and problems. To be effective, we have to be more personal and local.’

He later added: ‘Pretty clear that I’m about to get hammered across social media/papers for the crime of a tweet where the context wasn’t as clear as I’d thought it was. Needless to say, I haven’t said what I’m being accused of, nor would I ever. I’m sorry if others get dragged in to the fire.’

Rashford has not responded to Bradley’s tweets, instead sharing information of councils and restaurants who have vowed to make sure no children go hungry when the free school meals scheme won’t be in place over the holidays.

Following the vote, he has remained defiant in his campaigning efforts to help disadvantaged children, adding: ‘For as long as they don’t have a voice, they will have mine.’

BBC Breakfast airs every day at 6am on BBC One.

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