Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has condemned the Conservatives for plans to scrap free school lunches, branding the move as "cynical".
The Sheffield Hallam candidate and former deputy prime minister tweeted this morning that the Tory plan to ditch free lunches in favour of a free breakfast was the "clearest sign of the sour, mean Conservative government to come".
The policy was launched during the coalition government, and ensured that every child in their first three years at school received a free hot meal at lunchtime.
The Tories claim they can save £650m - which will then be redeployed into schools budget - by replacing it with a plan to give every primary school child a free breakfast instead.
Clegg, who is yet to tweet about his own party's manifesto, which was launched yesterday, interpreted the move as helping fund Theresa May's controversial plans to bolster the number of selective schools.
What? Scrap free meals for infants and splurge money on selection instead? Clearest sign of the sour, mean Conservative government to come.— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) May 18, 2017
Free infant lunches policy was saving millions of struggling families over £450. Breakfasts covers fewer children. Cheaper for govt. Cynical— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) May 18, 2017
4 in 10 kids who DIDN'T receive free lunches prior to infant provision were officially in poverty. So much for compassionate Conservatives.— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) May 18, 2017