Just hours after a national newspaper was briefed that a proposal to offer all children free school meals 'will be included in the [Labour] party's manifesto' for the next election, Ed Balls's chaotic department has denied any such plans exist.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families – the Government department responsible for this year's exam marking fiasco – said this morning there are "no plans to change existing national policy."
Shadow Children's Secretary Michael Gove said:
"Ministers clearly wanted to draw attention away from the Glasgow East result and placate the unions. But just hours after announcing an uncosted £1 billion spending pledge on free school meals, they are distancing themselves from their own plan.
"After the exam marking fiasco, this latest error by Ed Balls underlines how much the Government has become driven by positioning for the short-term rather than getting policy right for the long-term."