MORE than 200,000 children in the North West may have gone hungry this summer, Labour claims.

Shadow Children and Families Minister Steve Reed MP says that official government figures reveal millions of youngsters across England may not have been properly fed over the summer school holidays.

Across England 1,275,463 children are eligible for free school meals suggesting their families struggle to be able to afford to feed them put of their own income.

Of these 201,836 are in the North-West where 490,000 children (0.49 per cent of the total) live in 'households with below average income, defined as below 60 per cent of median income over the three years from 2015/16 to 2017/18.

Labour's analysis of official figures on relative childhood poverty and free school meals entitlement follows a new report from the Children’s Commissioner for England revealing that thousands of children in England are growing up in shipping containers, office blocks, and Bed and Breakfast establishments.

Analysis from the Trussell Trust has also revealed a 20 per cent increase in the number of food parcels given to children in the summer holidays in 2018 compared to 2017.

Mr Reed said: "Millions of children have faced a summer of hunger after years of inaction by a government that has let child poverty grow into a crisis.

“No country that loves its children would allow children to spend the summer going hungry instead of enjoying their holidays.

“These figures should be a wake-up call for the government to take urgent action."