RESTAURANTS across Southend have banned an MP after he voted against a motion to allow eligible children to have free school meals during school holidays.

Among them were Ramen and Chill, which has now barred Southend West MP Sir David Amess from their restaurant, in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff, after he and fellow Tory MPs voted down the Labour motion last week.

And cafe Frank & Lunas, in Canewdon Road, Westcliff, has also followed suit in permanently banning Sir David.

A statement from the eatery said: “The fact that we have this many children in poverty in the UK is disgusting enough without the likes of him voting to keep them hungry, whilst they get a daily allowance of £25 each for lunch in parliament.”

Echo: Protest - a girl leaves an empty plan at the front of Sir David Amess' officeProtest - a girl leaves an empty plan at the front of Sir David Amess' office

Photo by Gaz de Vere

It comes after protestors staged a demonstration outside Mr Amess’ office in Leigh over the weekend.

Football superstar Marcus Rashford MBE has now shouted out a whole host of Southend businesses on Twitter for their fantastic efforts to keep children fed this half term, by retweeting what teams are getting up to.

Since Ramen and Chill, which were recognised by Rashford, started its own appeal for donations to help get packed lunches prepared for children in need, they have had more than 36,000 emails and collected enough donations to give out 600 packed lunches.

The scheme has been so successful they’ve been able to offer a kids eat free deal this weekend, which will run between 12pm and 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

Owner, Ashley Baker, said: “It sickened us to hear about what was going on, no child should ever be left without food.

“The response has really blown us away. Parents have been able to take two at a time to feed the kids the following day too and lunches are free for collection or delivery between 12pm to 3pm until Friday.

“Our staff said keep our service charge and tips and put this towards the cause and we couldn’t have done it without the community. We’ve even had people from France, Canada, America asking how they can get involved.

“It’s been such a shock, especially by Marcus Rashford who has put his position in the limelight to such good use. As a role model kids will look up to him and want to be like him.”

The 38-year-old from Westcliff, added: “We banned David Amess as our customers have always stood by us - this is us standing by them. It’s not to create a political spat, but I really think he needs to change his view or move over to let someone else do the decision making.”

Inspired by the football star, who has now had a mural painted of him on Southend High Street, the team from the Seven Hotel were also recognised for stepping in to offer free children’s lunchboxes until Friday.

Jonathan Peters, manager at the hotel on Clifton Terrace, is offering lunchboxes including chicken nuggets and chips, sausages and mash, sandwiches and mini fish and chips from reception between 12pm until 3pm.

Sir David was contacted for comment but did not respond.