Liberal Democrat parliamentary hopeful Khalil Yousuf wants to extend free school meals to all children if elected.

He claims current policy only offers free school meals up until year two and by extending the policy to all years, it could benefit 35,000 children in Hampshire and Surrey.

“Too many children face the harsh reality of trying to learn on empty stomachs," said the candidate for the Farnham & Bordon seat.

“In Hampshire, only 13,000 (18.3 per cent) primary school children in year 3 and above receive free school meals, and in Surrey, just 8,000 (13.9 per cent). 

“Having mentored in an inner-city school for over two years, I have seen first-hand how food poverty affects children.”

Mr Yousuf would start with children living in poverty across primary and secondary and use a four per cent levy on the share buybacks of FTSE 100 listed corporations, to cover the estimated cost of £500 million a year.