Jamie Oliver says he's 'ready to fight' Truss over free school dinners

Jamie Oliver wades into politics again saying he’s ‘ready to fight’ Liz Truss over free school dinners – as he claims Boris Johnson ‘had to nearly die and have a child’ before ‘doing the right thing’

  • Mr Oliver said he has ‘no faith’ in the Prime Minister and predicted her demise
  • He said: ‘she’s not going to change. She will be a ship that passes in the night’ 
  • Chef claimed Boris had to ‘nearly die and have a child’ before he shared his view
  • Jamie predicted that the Tories will fail because they don’t put children first
  • He said: ‘I think kindness has to be injected into this party if they have any chance – and I don’t know if they have got it in them’
  • Mr Oliver denied to Nick Robinson that he is part of the ‘anti-growth coalition’ 

Jamie Oliver today used a BBC interview to declare war on Liz Truss over free school meals and predicted she will soon be turfed out of Downing Street, saying: ‘She will be a ship that passes in the night’.

The father-of-five told Radio 4’s Today Programme that he has ‘no faith’ in the Prime Minister and predicted that she will soon lose her job – in yet another intervention in politics by the outspoken TV chef.

He said: ‘I have no faith [in Liz Truss] – we’ve been tracking her in her views for six, seven years, she’s not going to change. She will be a ship that passes in the night. I’m actually quite calm about the whole thing’. 

He also claimed that former prime minister Boris Johnson had to ‘nearly die and have a child’ before he saw his point of view over school lunches. 

Asked about getting Mr Johnson ‘on side’ after ‘having warred with him’ over free school meals, the celebrity cook and restaurateur told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘He had to nearly die though and have a child to put him in the frame of mind to do the right thing.’ 

Hinting that he believes the Tories will be voted out at the next election, in part for not ‘putting children first’, he said: ‘I think kindness has to be injected into this party if they have any chance – and I don’t know if they have got it in them.’ He added: ‘I’ve been through six prime ministers and 13 education secretaries. None of them have taken seriously the issue of child health’. 

But he denied to Nick Robinson that he is part of the ‘anti-growth coalition’, a term coined by Ms Truss for her critics.  He replied: ‘Completely not. I’ve spent a lifetime not only employing over 20,000 people but travelling around the world saying how brilliant Britain is.

Jamie Oliver today used a BBC interview to declare war with Liz Truss over free school meals

The TV chef predicted that Ms Truss will soon be shown the door of No 10. He said: ‘She will be a ship that passes in the night’

Health Secretary Therese Coffey today claimed the rule-change to outlaw smoking in cars with children was probably not ‘the right thing to be doing’.

Dr Coffey made the controversial statement as it was revealed she plans to U-turn on the Government’s pledge to unveil an action plan to tackle tobacco use.

The cigar-puffing Liz Truss ally said she voted against the law change in 2015 because she didn’t believe in telling parents what to do.

She admitted that she did not know whether the law change actually was implemented at the time.

Asked by LBC’s Nick Ferrari why she voted against the rule change, she said: ‘Oh probably because I didn’t think it was the right thing to be doing, to be telling parents how to handle the situation.’

Pressed on whether she thinks it is right to smoke with children in the back, Dr Coffey said she couldn’t recall whether the law changed but thinks it ‘probably did’.

She added: ‘I’m not getting into necessarily prescriptive… we want a positive prevention programme in the future.’

‘That’s what we need to do as a country. We have an incredible country but just doing quick trade deals to the lowest common denominator and threatening British farming and British producers is completely bonkers.’

He added: ‘The reality is, if you speak to the best minds in economics, in the country, in the world, they will tell you that if you output healthier kids, you’re going to have a more productive, more profitable country, better GDP. To do that, you have to think in 10 to 20 years, not three-year cycles.’

Mr Oliver wants 800,000 more children to get free school meals, but suggested that the Conservative leader will resist and he is ‘up for the fight’.

‘We know that every kid who has a proper breakfast and lunch learn better at school’, he said.

The Naked Chef has called for the threshold to be opened for who qualifies as having a free school meal. In May he was outside Downing Street demanding then PM Boris Johnson scrapped BOGOF deals in supermarkets.

One critic said today: Jamie Oliver….. the man that ruined school dinners forever…. He should stay out of it…..’ 

Currently, the children of parents who are on Universal Credit and have an annual income of no more than £7,400, or are on another benefit such as jobseeker’s allowance, are eligible for free school meals.

Mr Oliver told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘If you earn over £7,400, you won’t get that free school lunch. But I think we’d all agree that there’s a massive gap between the means test for free school lunches as it stands and Universal Credit.

‘I think what the Government are saying is Universal Credit tethers off and can go up to sort of £30,000 – £40,000, but really we’re talking about the bulk of them being around £14,000 per household.’

Asked if he wanted the threshold to be met, he replied: ‘Well, now more than ever … if they were to open the threshold of who would be allowed to have a free school lunch, that would also inject funds into the system that would also really help to guarantee a much better service across 26,000 schools in the country.’

Five months ago the celebrity chef turned up at Downing Street waving an Eton Mess pudding to demand the Prime Minister bans multibuy and BOGOF deals in shops and supermarkets.

Mr Oliver invited all 15million of his Twitter and Instagram followers to descend on Westminster and demand a U-turn on the policy- but less than 200 people turned up as poverty campaigners branded him tone deaf.

And Boris Johnson responded by saying the Government would not change its mind on delaying the introduction of a ban on buy-one-get-one-free promotions – even if some of the foods are high in fat, sugar or salt.

He said: ‘If people can save on their food bills with some offers then I think we’ve just got to be flexible while continuing to tackle obesity.’

Chef Jamie Oliver raises his Eton mess to the sky outside Downing Street in May where he, demanded then Prime Minister Boris Johnson reconsider his U-turn on the Government’s anti-obesity strategy. He also wants BOGOF deals banned

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival yesterday, the celebrity chef said a ‘kitchen full of just men’ was ‘bad’ and ‘not a good place to work’, as they ‘struggle with ego more than women’.

The 47-year-old, who was promoting his latest cookbook One: Simple one-pan wonders, suggested women have a more intuitive approach to cookery as they react to what is in front of them – which he said he seeks to emulate to be at his best in the kitchen.

‘As a young boy getting a craft and this energy about Michelin stars and measurement and how you control nature as opposed to how you react to nature – which I think are more feminine traits like nourishment and more maternal feelings – so if I’m ever good, I have to try and think like a woman’, he added.

Oliver has previously taken aim at big-name chefs for focusing more on their own egos than creating recipe books that everyone can follow, insisting that his celebrity colleagues should be like a ‘sat-nav’ for the home-cook.

‘As a man and a chef you have got to have a massive scrap with your ego and look at how many chefs’ books are rubbish. It is because they cannot get out of the restaurant, out of control and ego,’ he told the Sun last year.

‘For me, you have to beat that person up and throw them to the side.

‘My audience is very mainstream. My job is to be clear. You do your job and break it down into chapters that are logical and useful.’ 

Back at Cheltenham, Oliver contrasted the ‘regimental’ Anglo-French cooking craft he learnt at his parents’ gastropub growing up, with the Italian cookery that would later have a big influence on his early career as a chef, describing Italian cooking as ‘slightly more feminine’.

The father-of-five also attributed the success of his initial years as the Naked Chef in the 1990s to women, saying his ‘fame’ was ‘driven by female journalists’.

‘I think you have to remember what it was like then, men and women going off to work together, but men around the country going ‘What’s for dinner love?’

While the Naked Chef was ‘about getting boys back in the kitchen’ Oliver said it didn’t go down too well with members of his own sex.

He recounted having a ‘tough’ relationship with men within the first two years, with ‘quite a lot of scaffolding abuse’.

‘I got properly chased and roughed up a few times. They had it easy and then all of a sudden their girlfriend or wife is like ‘Look, there’s a foetus on the TV here, if he can do it, surely you can, you’re a 45-year-old man, I’ll have it once a week you lazy b****d!’

‘You think you girls have it bad when you go past scaffolding, being the Naked Chef in the 1990s was not good…’

Source: Read Full Article