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Conservative MP Boris Johnson breaks ranks to attack Jamie Oliver's school meals campaign

03 October 2006
Conservative MP Boris Johnson breaks ranks to attack Jamie Oliver's school meals campaign

A maverick Conservative MP has broken ranks with his party leadership and criticised Jamie Oliver's school dinners campaign, claiming the pressure on children to eat healthy food is "too much".

In his opening speech to the Conservative Party conference this week, Tory leader David Cameron praised Oliver's crusade to make school dinners more nutritious.

He said the chef had done more to improve school food than the Education department.

But at a fringe meeting, Boris Johnson, an official Conservative spokesman on education, criticised the campaign and stood up for mothers who helped their children avoid healthier options.

"I say let people eat what they like," he said. "Why shouldn't they push pies through the railings?"

His comments followed revelations that a group of mothers at Rawmarsh comprehensive in South Yorkshire, were taking orders for more than 50 unhealthy meals, including burgers and fish and chips, from a graveyard next to the school.

Johnson added: "I would ban sweets from school - but this pressure to bring in healthy food is too much."

Government to give guidance on school packed lunches >>

Jamie Oliver's campaign pushed finances into the red, claims Cambridge Catering Services >>

Junk food ban may push contract caterers out of schools >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas](mailto:daniel.thomas@rbi.co.uk?subject=Conservative MP Boris Johnson breaks ranks to attack Jamie Oliver's school meals campaign) here.

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