Watford MP Dean Russell said he was “pleased” to hear that the government listened to Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford’s campaign to provide free school meals during the summer.

Yesterday it was announced that the Government are backing a £120 million fund to provide free school meals to some 1.3 million children in England over the summer period.

Ministers initially defended the decision to not extend the scheme when Rashford penned an open letter asking the Government to reverse its decision to not award free school meal vouchers in England outside of term time.

The decision was then U-turned, granting Rashford a victory.

The Watford MP was pleased with the outcome as he lobbied the Government to extend the scheme.

He said: “I am pleased that children in England will continue to receive free school meal vouchers during the holidays.

“I lobbied the government directly on this matter as I know this is a difficult time for many, and I am very pleased that the government listened.

“The ‘Covid-19 summer food fund’ adds to an extensive support system, which includes £63 million for local authorities to assist those struggling to afford food.”

Leggatts ward councillor Asif Khan called Rashford's achievement "fantastic".

He said: "I am very pleased that the Government has seen sense and reversed its decision on free school meals ahead of Labour’s motion this afternoon.

"This is a fantastic achievement for Marcus Rashford and all campaigners who have been highlighting the seriousness of this issue.

"This will be a great relief for thousands of families across Hertfordshire and Watford.”

Liberal Democrat councillor for Callowland Ian Stotesbury tweeted: “Great, well done to everyone pressuring Government on this – big win for families right across the country.

“Well done @MarcusRashford especially for kicking off his campaign so well!”

Today, Rashford told BBC Breakfast that there are “more steps that need to be taken” as he wants to help the people struggling all year around.

In a tweet yesterday after the extension was made, Rashford wrote: “This was never about me or you, this was never about politics, this was a cry out for help from vulnerable parents all over the country and I simply provided a platform for their voices to be heard.

“I stand proud today knowing that we have listened, and we have done what is right.

“There is still a long way to go but I am thankful to you all that we have given these families just one less thing to worry about tonight.

“The wellbeing of our children should ALWAYS be a priority.”

Downing Street said the vouchers would amount to £15 a week per child.

The PM's spokesman said: "This is a specific measure over the summer."