BARNSLEY East MP Stephanie Peacock has slammed the government over new figures revealing more than one in four children in Barnsley are living in poverty.

The figures, released by the End Child Poverty coalition, show that 27.9 per cent of children living in Barnsley are ‘in poverty' after housing costs are included. This equates to 14,182 children across the borough.

The figure includes more than 6,000 children in her Barnsley East constituency, where an even greater proportion of children - 29.6 per cent - are trapped below the poverty line.

Within the Barnsley area, the St Helen’s ward contains the highest level of child poverty, with 37.9 per cent of children living in poverty. This is closely followed by Monk Bretton at 36.7 per cent, Dearne North at 35.5 per cent and Dearne South, 35.4 per cent.

The lowest levels of child poverty in the borough are in Penistone East at 11.8 per cent, Penistone West 14.7 per cent, and Darton West, 17.6 per cent.

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The MP is demanding the government takes urgent action.

“These new figures paint a damning picture of life for so many families and children under this Tory government,” she said.

“No child in Britain and Barnsley in this day and age should be forced to go without food, a heated home or proper clothing.

“But the government’s decision to freeze child benefits in the face of soaring living costs has forced more than 14,000 children in Barnsley below the poverty line.

“This government must take urgent action to address the issue, and prevent more children in Barnsley being trapped in poverty.”