A PETITION calling on the UK Government to end subsidised food and drink for MPs is approaching one million signatures.

The petition, which was started in the wake of the Tories’ refusal to extend free school meals in England, has been signed by 910,000 people.

As it stands, MPs are able to claim £25 in expenses for food for each night they are not in Westminster or in their constituency. This can cover all costs that day, but does not extend to alcohol.

Furthermore, MPs and their parliamentary visitors can eat and drink in the Westminster bars and restaurants.

Within the Houses of Parliament there are 19 restaurants and cafeterias, nine bars and one coffee bar.

While this food is not directly subsidised, the catering services all run at a loss. This means public money is essentially funding MPs’ meals.

The petition, started by one Portia Lawrie, aims to change that.

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The petition says MPs who voted against free school meals “should under no circumstances benefit from free or subsidised meals out of public funds themselves”.

It asks: “If the public purse cannot afford to feed the poorest in our society, why are we feeding those least in need?”

Lawrie said: "I only started this petition because I was so angry that some MPs had rejected the chance in parliament, and Marcus Rashford's campaign, to extend free school meals into the school holiday.

“I wanted to point out the clear hypocrisy between that and the food and drink the public subsidise for MPs whilst denying support to those most in need of it.

"I couldn't quite believe what I was watching unfold as hundreds of thousands of people threw their support behind it in less than 24 hours.

“It’s simply unfair that the government is refusing to use OUR money for one of the most basic responsibilities of a compassionate society - feeding hungry children.

“The level of support this petition is getting shows clearly the level of hurt caused by those who voted against it.

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"Many MPs are pushing for free school meals to be extended into the school holidays, and I applaud them. It’s time for the government to listen to them, and us, and make sure children across the UK do not go hungry any longer. Enough is enough."

Petitions posted on Westminster’s official petition.parliament.uk site are guaranteed a government response if they accrue more than 10,000 signatures.

If a petition gets more than 100,000 signatures on that site it will be considered for a debate in parliament.

However, despite having more than nine times that threshold, the petition to end public subsidising of MPs’ food is on the 38 Degrees website.

You can add your signature to the petition here.

The UK Government has been approached for comment.