Rishi Sunak's local pub defends barring him - and three other Yorkshire MPs - over their vote against Free School Meals

A North Yorkshire pub which Rishi Sunak is known to frequent has defended a decision to bar him and several of his colleagues.

Stokesley pub and restaurant The Mill announced on Friday that it would be banning the Chancellor, who is MP for Richmond, as well as refusing the service of three other North Yorkshire MPs who have previously dined there.

The announcement was made following a measure to extend free school meals until Spring next year, which was put forward by footballer Marcus Rashford, was defeated by 322 MPs to 261.

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The majority of those who voted down the proposal were Conservative MPs, including Shipley's Phillip Davies and Stuart Andrew for Pudsey and Horsforth.

The Mill pub and restaurant in Stokesley, North Yorkshire

In a statement posted on The Mill's Facebook page following the vote, owner Alex Cook said: "The Government voted against extending free school meals. This is disgusting! What’s worse, Matt Vickers (Stockton South), Simon Clarke (Middlesborough), Jacob Young (Redcar & Cleveland) and Rishi Sunak all voted against the scheme. DISGUSTING!

"All four are now barred from The Mill & Il Mulino for life. I don’t want their business."

He added that it would be joining thousands of other businesses across the country in donating free meals for young people in need.

The post drew widespread praise and criticism, and at present has been shared more than 1,300 times.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak voted against the proposal to extend the free school meals scheme until Spring 2021

In a follow up on Monday, Mr Cook explained more of its reasons behind the announcement which it called a "moral decision" and hit out at abuse received by staff members over the Facebook post.

He said: "The four MPs have all used the pub hence why they are barred, otherwise what would be the point.

"All four would be welcomed back in if the government decided to support the effected children again.

"I have previously gone on record saying what a good job Rishi has done in supporting businesses, I fail to see what this has to do with allowing children go hungry.

Simon Cooke, MP for Middlesborough South and East Cleveland

"This is a moral decision, a point of principle and absolutely nothing against any particular political party. I never really get involved. Simply trying to highlight in my opinion what was a poor decision and a dreadful situation."

Mr Cook added: "Some of the abuse that my staff and family have been subjected to has been ridiculous, it was only February this year where the whole country was telling everyone to be kind."

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