LONDON — The Conservative government has today scrapped two manifesto pledges it made in the run-up to last month’s general election.
Prime Minister Theresa May said leading up to the June 8 election that a Tory government would get rid of free school meals for infants and allow Parliament a free vote on reintroducing to fox hunting to Britain.
Both pledges plus numerous other manifesto promises were absent from the Queen’s Speech that May announced to MPs last month, suggesting that both policy proposals had been dropped following the shock election result in which May lost her parliamentary majority.
Tory ministers today confirmed that both proposals have been scrapped. Business Insider has contacted Downing Street for further comment.
May told members of the public during an election campaign visit to Leeds in that she had “always been in favour” of fox hunting and intended to honour the Conservative Party’s commitment to grant MPs a free vote on the issue.
The key piece of legislation regarding fox hunting in Britain is the 2004 Hunting Act — which bans the hunting of various wild mammals including hares, deer and foxes with dogs. It came into effect in England and Wales in 2005.
The policy was regularly brought up on the doorstep and became a major campaigning issue for the Conservatives’ opponents, particularly online.
In a written response to a question about the policy seen by The Independent, Theresa Coffey, a minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “The government’s manifesto includes a free vote on the Hunting Act 2004, but we are not planning to bring forward a free vote in this session.”
Free school meals
Among the policies that proved to be most unpopular with the public was May’s pledge to scrap free school lunches for infant school children and replace them with free breakfasts. Predictably, the policy was deeply unpopular with parents, and would have been fought hard against by the likes of Jamie Oliver and other big-name campaigners.
Schools minister Nick Gibb told MPs today that plans to scrap free school meals had been dropped. “We have decided it’s right to retain existing provision,” he told Parliament this afternoon.
These proposals are the latest Conservative Party manifesto pledges to get kicked into the long grass.
Prime Minister May committed to protecting both the triple lock on pensions and winter fuel payments for pensioners in the “confidence and supply deal” she struck with the Democratic Unionist Party last month.
This was despite saying she wouldn’t do this in the run-up to the election.