Tory candidate Susan Hall forced to defend criticism of free school meals at TV hustings

Tory candidate Susan Hall was forced to defend her wish to restrict free school meals to poorer children in the first TV debate of the 2024 mayoral race.The ITV London hustings on Tuesday night also saw Sadiq Khan insist it was “untrue” that he was planning to introduce pay-per-mile road pricing. His full manifesto is expected to be published on Thursday.Mr Khan came under attack from Lib-Dem candidate Rob Blackie for the Met police’s failure to catch rapists and sex offenders – and for recycling a failed pledge from the 2021 election to bring in rent controls.Ms Hall said last week that Mr Khan’s £140m-a-year scheme to provide free lunches for all London primary school pupils meant that Londoners “on the breadline” could be paying for food “for people who may be millionaires’ children”.Asked by ITV presenter Charlene White how many children of millionaires were eating for free in State schools, Ms Hall said: “It’s the theory of it – it’s not necessarily millionaires. It’s people who can afford to feed their children.