PMQs with Christian Today: Theresa May refuses to back Christian MP's hunger bill

It is an indictment on both of the UK's major parties that after a summer off the biggest issue in British politics was ignored during Prime Minister's Questions.

It fell to back benchers to ask Theresa May about Brexit after the biggest leak on the government's immigration plan after the UK leaves the European Union.

ParliamentLive.TVTheresa May took questions from MPs in the first PMQs after the summer break.

Anna Soubry, a persistent thorn in the Prime Minister's side, warned of a rebellion over the government's Great Repeal Bill saying it looks like an 'unprecedented and unnecessary government power grab'.

But Jeremy Corbyn, because he is unclear what his own policy is, dodged asking any of his six questions on Brexit, instead focusing on McDonald's workers' strike, public sector pay and zero hours contracts.

His success with the electorate in the general election has done little for his ability at the dispatch box.

One enlightening moment came when Theresa May's refused to back a bill tabled by Labour's Frank Field and backed by Christian MPs from all parties as well as bishops in the House of Lords.

Ruth Smeeth, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent, raised the alarmingly high number of children who go hungry during the holidays because free-school meals are not available. She praised local volunteers, including churches, but said: 'I'm disgusted by this government who have done nothing and turned a blind eye. How many children have to go hungry, how much parents have to go without food, before this Prime Minister will do her job and act.'

BBCRuth Smeeth praised volunteers in her constituency of Stoke on Trent but said she was 'disgusted' by the government's response.

It comes after Church of England bishops added their backing to a bill signed by more than 100 MPs from different parties to use money raised by a sugary drinks tax to force councils to provide food and activities for children who would otherwise go without.

Frank Field, a committed Christian, said: 'If the Prime Minister were to pick up this bill and run with it, at nil extra cost to the Government, she would tackle overnight one of the great injustices afflicting children in this country: a widening of inequalities at school caused by a lack of food during the holidays. Likewise she would immediately be cutting off one of the main supply routes to food banks.'

BBCTheresa May said her focus was on tackling the root causes of poverty.

But the Prime Minister declined to back the bill but said ministers would consider the proposals it raised.

'Our foucs remains on tackling the root causes of poverty,' said Theresa May.

'Nearly three-quarters of children from workless families moved out of poverty when their parents moved into full-time work.'

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