An Opposition debate on children’s social care set to take place tomorrow has been cancelled, and has been replaced by a discussion about the provision of free school meals for children during the holidays.

No more information about the new debate has been given. The House of Commons library update also does not mention whether the social care debate will be rescheduled.

While a debate on the funding of free school meals for children is important, it is concerning that the original debate on social care has been set aside with no word on whether it will be rearranged.

This is not the first time a Parliamentary discussion on children’s social care has been set aside.

A discussion about children’s social care promised by the Backbench Business Committee in October 2018 was abruptly cancelled after Researching Reform shared details about the event on its site.

Thousands of families in the UK took to social media to say they would make the journey down to attend the debate peacefully, and with the hope of being able to give feedback on the meeting.

Many parents had paid for train tickets and bus fares which had represented a large chunk of their monthly income, or agreed to take the day off work at personal expense to make the trip.

Researching Reform reached out to the sponsor for the debate, Tim Loughton MP, a month after the debate was set aside to ask what day the debate would now be held, but he did not respond. The MP had previously confirmed the meeting had been postponed rather than cancelled.

The debate was then held in secret, two months later.

We very much hope the Opposition will push to reinstate their debate on children’s social care and ensure that it goes ahead, in public.