Parliamentary activity
The Alliance agreed meetings with a further three parliamentarians in April 2016, with meeting dates to be determined. These are with:

  • Conservative MP Rishi Sunak (Member, Environment Select Committee)
  • Liberal Democrat peer Lord Storey (Lords Education Spokesperson)
  • Conservative peer Lord Lexden

The Alliance has further meetings agreed in principle with three other parliamentarians. These are:

  • Labour MP Andrew Gwynne (Shadow Health Minister)
  • SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie (Member, Environment Select Committee; Vice Chair, Health Select Committee)
  • Labour MP Diana Johnson (Vice Chair, School Food APPG; Vice Chair, Fit and Healthy Childhood APPG)

We are following up with the office of one MP– SNP Health Spokesperson Dr Philippa Whitford – whose researcher indicated that she may be willing to meet with the Alliance

The Alliance briefed 49 MPs ahead of Liberal Democrat MP Mark William’s 90 minute Westminster Hall debate on the UK dairy sector. Three questions were asked to Environment Minister Rory Stewart: whether the Government will continue to participate in the revised European School Milk Scheme; what plans it has to consult with stakeholders when developing the scheme; and what discussions the Government has had with the dairy industry about how it can benefit from the scheme. Two MPs also criticised the changes to the Eatwell Guide. Although responses to the questions were not provided by the Minister, he will write to the MPs instead – we will liaise with their offices to have sight of these responses.

Two MPs that the Alliance met with in March have tabled five written parliamentary questions.

Shadow Childcare Minister Jenny Chapman tabled three written questions on the School Food Standards, asking the Education Secretary: what representations the Department for Education has received from primary schools on the requirement to make available during the school day; what guidance has been provided to schools on their compliance with the milk requirements of the school food standards; and what assessment she has made of the effect of the school food standards on milk consumption in primary schools. Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah responded that the Government has received one piece of correspondence on milk in recent months, and that the Department of Health does not collect data on consumption in schools. The Department for Education notified schools about the School Food Standards through termly communications with schools.

SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron (Vice-Chair, Dairy APPG) also tabled two written questions on the European School Milk Scheme, asking: what allocation the UK expects to receive in each of the next three years; and what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of the revised European School Milk Scheme on dairy farmers in the UK. We will monitor for responses to these questions. Farming Minister George Eustice responded that the UK will receive €9,804,331 annually between 1st August 2017 and 31st July 2023, and that Defra will consult with stakeholders on the implementation of the revised scheme.

We will liaise with Lord Lexden to table one oral question in the House of Lords.

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