Parliamentary activity
Meetings and engagements 
 
One meeting took place on 7th February:

  • Mary Glindon MP, Shadow Farming Minister

   
We currently have one meeting arranged for 27th February:

  • Maria Eagle MP, Former Shadow Defra Secretary
  
  
Additionally, we are re-scheduling meetings with Labour MPs Lucy Powell and Diana Johnson.
  
  
Lords oral questions
    
Following discussions with the SNMA, Lord Lexden asked an oral question, asking how the Government intends to promote the increased consumption of school milk. Education Minister Lord Nash responded that the Government recognised the importance of pupils being healthy, and noted that the School Food Standards make it clear that milk must be made available during the day.

Following Lord Nash’s response, a number of supplementary questions were tabled. The most notable included a question from Labour Shadow Education Minister Lord Watson, who asked the Government what plans it has to continue the school milk scheme after it left the EU. Lord Nash said that the UK would remain in the scheme until it left the EU, but that long term plans would be considered post-Brexit.
  
  
House of Commons written questions
  
We received responses to five previously tabled questions.
  
  • Labour MP Nic Dakin had tabled three questions asking the Environment Secretary what assessment she had made of the impact of the revisions to the Eatwell Guide on dairy, the linear model it used, and what representations she had received from the dairy sector. Farming Minister George Eustice answered the questions collectively, stating that the department meets regularly with stakeholders, and that he was aware of concerns about the guide.

  • Shadow Public Health Minister Sharon Hodgson had asked the Health Secretary whether PHE had identified any disadvantages to using a linear programming model. Public Health Minister Nicola Blackwood said that the Eatwell review’s External Reference Group had recommended the linear programming approach as the most robust approach. 

  • Ms Hodgson also asked what assessment the minister had made of the role of the findings of PHE's report on the review of the guide. Ms Blackwood repeated her answer to Ms Hodgson’s first question, and added that the outcome of the linear programming work resulted in a new image with a reduced dairy and alternatives segment, but ensured that government dietary recommendations were met.
  
    
We have also secured the tabling of two new questions this month.
 
  • Shadow Farming Minister Mary Glindon MP asked the Defra Secretary what progress her Department has made on implementing the revised European School Milk scheme. Farming Minister George Eustice said that the UK will continue to participate in the new EU scheme from 1st August 2017, and that officials are working on the arrangements.

  • Labour MP and Vice-chair of the Fit and Healthy Childhood APPG Julie Elliott asked the Defra Secretary if her Department will continue to implement the provisions of the European school milk scheme after the UK leaves the EU. Mr Eustice repeated the answer he gave to Ms Glindon’s question.
  

Westminster Hall debate

We are currently engaging with two MPs with whom we have previously met to discuss applying for a debate on school and nursery milk.


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