PRIME minister Boris Johnson insisted the government would not allow children to go hungry amid mounting anger over his refusal to extend free school meals during the half-term break.

Mr Johnson and the government have faced backlash over the refusal to provide free school meals in England over half-term.

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A petition from footballer Marcus Rashford, who has been spearheading demands for free meals to be extended in England over the school holidays, has attracted almost 900,000 signatures, piling pressure on the Government to act.

Mr Johnson visited Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) today to mark the publication of a new review into hospital food.

During his visit, he said: "We don't want to see children going hungry this winter, this Christmas, certainly not as a result of any inattention by this Government - and you are not going to see that."

The Prime Minister said he had not spoken to Rashford since June "but what he is doing is terrific".

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He said: "We support the local councils - indeed we fund the local councils and many of the organisations that are helping in this period - but we are also uplifting Universal Credit by £1,000 and we think that is one of the best ways you can help families in this tough time.

"I totally understand the issue of holiday hunger, it is there, we have to deal with it.

"The debate is how do you deal with it."