Parliamentary activity
Meetings and engagement

The Alliance met with five Parliamentarians during July:

12th July:
  • Martyn Day MP, Vice Chair of the Food and Health APPG
  • Simon Hoare MP, New Chair of the Dairy APPG
  • Heather Wheeler MP, Outgoing Chair of the Dairy APPG
13th July:
  • Nic Dakin MP, former Shadow Education Minister
  • Julie Elliott MP, Vice-Chair of the Fit and Healthy Childhood APPG
On Tuesday 12th July we met with Heather Wheeler and Simon Hoare, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Dairy All Party Group, where we focused on our concerns about the Eatwell Guide. It was helpful to discuss how we can work together with other stakeholders with concerns about the role of dairy in the new guide and ensure that there is recognition of how dairy contributes to a healthy diet.

We also met with Martyn Day, the SNP MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk. As well as the Eatwell Guide, we updated him with our concerns about the future of the European School Milk Scheme following the outcome of the EU referendum and our plans to campaign for the UK Government to provide a replacement.

On Wednesday 13th July we met with Nic Dakin, until recently a Shadow Education Minister, and Julie Elliott, a Vice Chair of the All Party Group on a Fit and Healthy Childood. Both MPs were interested in the role of milk in children’s health, and we briefed them on the Eatwell Guide and the EU School Milk Scheme.

We are currently seeking to re-arrange five meetings for after the summer Parliamentary recess – these were due to take place prior to recess but have had to be re-arranged following the political disruption which resulted from the EU referendum outcome and the subsequent Labour and Conservative leadership elections.

  • Diana Johnson MP, Vice Chair of the School Food APPG
  • Andrew Gywnne MP, former Shadow Public Health Minister
  • Office of Sharon Hodgson MP, Chair of the School Food APPG
  • Office of Rishi Sunak MP, Member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee
  • Lord Lexden, peer with interest in school milk

House of Commons written questions

We have secured the tabling of four parliamentary questions over the last month. Conservative MP Simon Hoare has tabled two questions on the Eatwell Guide, asking specifically what representations the Department of Health has received on references to dairy products in the Guide and when Public Health England plans to publish its report on revising the Guide.

Additionally, Labour MP Julie Elliot has asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if her Department will introduce a new programme to replace the EU School Milk Scheme after the UK's exit from the EU. This issue was also raised in a question tabled by Conservative MP Martyn Day. These questions will be answered when parliament returns in September.

Simon Hoare and Kevin Brennan also received answers to four written questions in the House of Commons. Responding to the questions for the Department of Health, the then Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said that an external reference group was convened to consult with stakeholders during the development of the Eatwell Guide, including representatives from health, dietetic and nutrition professions, the voluntary sector and industry, with Department of Health officials acting as observers. She said that Government advice continues to encourage consumption of dairy products as part of a healthy, balanced diet for all age groups.

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