Conservative-run areas like Hampshire charge £100 more for school meals according to new research.
Analysis by the Daily Mirror shows the top five dearest counties for primary school meals are all controlled by the Conservatives.
Hampshire County Council has the third highest price at £3 per meal, compared with a national average of £2.65 per meal. The most expensive is Derbyshire, which now charges £3.25 per meal.
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, who grew up on a council estate, told the newspaper: “You can’t have a postcode lottery when it comes to feeding kids at school.
“This highlights that the system just doesn’t work. Where is the moral compass on this? The Government needs to do more to support those that need it. School meals should be free, full stop.”
When contacted for comment by the Mirror, the Tory-led councils blamed inflation and a lack of Government funding.
But the newspaper found that other authorities – including some with a Conservative majority – have limited school meal prices despite these financial pressures. In Labour-led Newcastle, the charge is well below the national average at £2.20.