Labour's £10m pledge to tackle 'period poverty'

Image source, PA

Labour says it would spend £10m to end "period poverty" in schools in England if it forms the next government.

Earlier this year, a charity, Freedom4Girls, reported that girls in the UK were missing school because they could not afford sanitary protection.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner told its conference this was a "scandal" and every child would get the support they needed under Labour.

Scotland is piloting offering free sanitary products to women and girls.

Ms Rayner told delegates in Brighton that action was needed on the issue in England too.

"As well as giving our schools the resources they need, we must ensure they give every child the support they deserve. All our pupils deserve a good quality of life. So I am proud to say that as your secretary of state I will allocate £10m from our departmental budget to end the scandal of period poverty in our schools," she said.

Last year MPs backed the abolition of the "tampon tax", an EU-wide 5% VAT levy on sanitary products, after the government accepted a Labour amendment to the Budget.

This followed public pressure and a petition signed by 300,000 people.

In its election manifesto, the Green Party promised free sanitary products for pupils and women on low incomes.

The Conservative government has said it will look at the issue.