BORIS Johnson has praised campaigning footballer Marcus Rashford for highlighting the need for free school meals.

During Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Johnson said the English player had been more effective at holding the Government to account than Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Mr Starmer had criticised the offerings of food to parents of children who usually receive school meals while they are at home.

Images posted on social media saw some families receive minuscule rations of food, including carrots and potatoes, said to have cost £30.

Mr Starmer asked if the PM would be happy to allow his own children to live on the portions provided, to which Mr Johnson replied: " I don’t think anybody in this House is happy with the disgraceful images that we’ve seen of the food parcels that have been offered.

“They’re appalling, they’re an insult to the families that have received them.”

The Labour leader then cited the government's guidance on what suitable meal provision was, saying: "I’ve checked the Government guidance on free school meals, published by the Department for Education.

“I’ve got it here, it sets out example parcels for one child for five days, the Department for Education, Prime Minister, you want to be held to account – one loaf of bread, two baked potatoes, block of cheese, baked beans, three individual yoghurts, sound familiar? That’s the image you just called disgraceful.

“The only difference I can see in this list and what the Prime Minister has described as disgraceful is a tin of sweetcorn, a packet of ham and a bottle of milk.

“So, he blames others but this is on his watch. The truth is families come last under this Government, whether it’s exams, free school meals or childcare.”

Mr Johnson replied: "I’m grateful to Marcus Rashford, who highlighted the issue and is doing quite an effective job by comparison to (Sir Keir Starmer) in holding the Government to account on these issues.

“The company in question has rightly apologised and agreed to reimburse.

“It’s because we want to see our kids properly fed throughout this very difficult pandemic that we’ve massively increased the value of what we’re providing.”

Ian Blackford, the SNP Westminster Leader, raised the issue of Brexit causing problems for Scottish fishermen.

He brought up the case of a constituent, Gordon Cameron, who runs GC Shellfish and says he has lost £40,000 of produce overnight due to the administrative problems of Brexit.

Mr Blackford asked the Prime Minister where his promised "sea of opportunity" was for Scottish fishermen.

He said: "My constituent in Lochaber, a producer and exporter of shellfish, is experiencing his worst nightmare. After loading a lorry of fresh local seafood on Monday, as he’s done for 35 years, his driver faced bureaucracy and delays.

“Brexit red tape now means that £40,000 of his fresh, high quality produce is lost, unable to be sold. That £40,000 produce is income for over 100 local families in many remote and fragile communities.

“Can the Prime Minister tell my constituent where is the sea of opportunity that he and his Scottish Tories promised?”

Boris Johnson responded: “Well, we’re putting £100 million into supporting the fishing industry in Scotland and across the whole of the UK.

“It is the policy of the Scottish nationalist party not just to break up the United Kingdom under their hare-brained scheme, but also to take Scotland back into the EU and hand back control of Scottish fisheries to Brussels, thereby throwing away all those opportunities.”

Mr Blackford responded that the Prime Minister's comments were "an insult".

Mr Johnson also criticised the SNP over its stance on rejoining the EU, and added: "As far as I understand it, they’re already spending money in Scotland on IndyRef2, what they call IndyRef2, when they should be getting on, Scottish nationalists, should be getting on with fighting the pandemic, that I think is what the people of Scotland want to see."