Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to increase funding for the poorest families over Christmas in an attempt to head off a damaging revolt over free school meals. The Times quoted allies of the Prime Minister as saying work was under way on providing additional support for eligible pupils outside term time. There was no immediate response to the reports from Downing Street. Such a move is likely to be seen as a partial climbdown by the Government in its struggle with footballer Marcus Rashford, who has been spearheading demands for free meals to be extended in England over the school holidays. However, it was unclear whether it would be enough to defuse the growing anger on the Tory benches as more MPs continued to speak out against the Government’s handling of the issue.