CONSERVATIVE MPs have voted against footballer Marcus Rashford's bid to have free school meals for eligible children extended through the half term and winter holidays.

The motion, put forward by the Labour Party, called for the voucher scheme to be extended over the school holidays until Easter 2021. It was defeated by 261 votes to 322 - a majority of 61.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said the Conservatives had voted to let the more than 1.4 million children eligible for free school meals go hungry through the holidays.

She tweeted: "Tonight I voted to feed our country’s vulnerable and needy children. The Tories voted to let them go hungry."

Chris Loder, West Dorset, Conservative and Richard Drax, South Dorset, Conservative both voted against the motion.

Elsewhere in the county, Michael Tomlinson, Mid Dorset and North Poole, Conservative; Sir Robert Syms, Poole, Conservative; Conor Burns, Bournemouth West, Conservative; Tobias Ellwood, Bournemouth East, Conservative; Sir Desmond Swayne, New Forest, Conservative and Sir Robert Syms, Poole, Conservative, all voted against the motion.

Meanwhile, Simon Hoare, North Dorset, Conservative, and Sir Christopher Chope, Christchurch, Conservative, did not register a vote.

In Scotland, the government has made £10 million available to local councils to continue to fund free school meals over the Christmas, February and Easter breaks.

The Welsh government has made £11 million to extend free school meals for every school holiday until Easter 2021.