Marcus Rashford has mocked Schooling Secretary Gavin Williamson after the politician confused the footballer for England rugby star Maro Itoje.
Responding to claims that Mr Williamson had combined him up with London-born Itoje, Manchester-born Rashford wrote on Twitter: “Accent might have been a giveaway.”
He was commenting on a report in London’s Night Commonplace that Mr Williamson has by no means had direct communication with Manchester United ahead Rashford, who’s a high-profile campaigner at no cost faculty meals and different meals poverty points.
In an interview with the newspaper, Mr Williamson stated he met Rashford “over Zoom and he appeared extremely engaged, compassionate and charming however then he needed to shoot off”.
However the newspaper article added: “Later Williamson’s workforce inform me he truly met the rugby participant Maro Itoje, who campaigned to bridge the digital divide, not Rashford.
“Rashford’s spokesperson confirms that he has by no means had any direct communication with Williamson, though the minister did have a name with Itoje about equal entry to schooling throughout the pandemic.”
In a press release, Mr Williamson admitted he had made a “real mistake” throughout the newspaper interview.
“In direction of the tip of a wide-ranging interview by which I talked about each the laptops and faculty meals campaigns, I conflated the problems and made a real mistake,” he stated.
“We corrected this with the journalist earlier than publication of the story. I’ve large respect for each Marcus Rashford and Maro Itoje who run efficient and galvanizing campaigns.”
Throughout the COVID disaster, Itoje has campaigned for laptops to be given to all deprived youngsters within the UK.
The rugby participant, who toured South Africa with the British and Irish Lions this summer season, additionally joined within the on-line mocking of Mr Williamson’s mistake.
He posted on Twitter: “As a result of latest hypothesis I assumed it was crucial to substantiate that I’m not Marcus Rashford… And while we’re right here my identify just isn’t Mario both!! Only a easy Maro Itoje will do…”
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to Mr Williamson for having accomplished a “heroic job” throughout the “very tough circumstances” of the COVID pandemic, when requested within the Home of Commons whether or not the schooling secretary was “as much as the job”.
It comes amid hypothesis Mr Williamson might lose his job as a part of a reshuffle of Mr Johnson’s cupboard.
The prime minister’s press secretary stated on Wednesday that there are not any plans for a reshuffle however that Mr Johnson shall be working from Downing Avenue on Thursday.
A spokesperson for Rashford additionally confirmed to Sky Information that the footballer and Mr Williamson have by no means met.
In addition they stated that Rashford had written two letters to Mr Williamson since September final 12 months, of which solely the primary acquired a response from the schooling secretary.
The spokesperson stated that reply, acquired after 5 – 6 weeks, was a “chilly response” and constituted a “copy and paste of a Wikipedia web page of reduction efforts the Conservative Get together have put in place since coming into energy”.
Final 12 months, now-disgraced well being secretary Matt Hancock needed to explain why he accidentally called Rashford “Daniel” while praising the footballer for main a marketing campaign to increase free faculty meals throughout a Sky Information interview.
Rashford’s spokesperson added: “Marcus’s constant ask to these in energy has been collaboration.
“As a rule this ask is rebuffed. Maro and Marcus are two extremely profitable younger black males, however there may be little extra they’ve in frequent.
“Whether or not it is Daniel Rashford or a Maro Itoje reference, the message stays the identical. Put our youngsters first.”
Responding to Mr Williamson’s mix-up of Rashford and Itoje, Labour’s shadow schooling secratary Kate Inexperienced posted on Twitter: “Insulting and surprising! Our nation and our youngsters deserve higher.”
Labour’s shadow justice secretary David Lammy informed Mr Williamson on Twitter: “You have to be probably the most ignorant, clueless and incapable schooling secretary within the UK’s historical past.”
Liberal Democrat schooling spokesperson Daisy Cooper stated the “surprising and embarrassing” incident must be “the ultimate nail within the coffin” for Mr Williamson being a member of the federal government.
As a result of latest hypothesis I assumed it was crucial to substantiate that I’m not Marcus Rashford… And while we’re right here my identify just isn’t Mario both!! Only a easy Maro Itoje will do…
A lot love,
Marcu… I imply Maro Itoje
— Maro Itoje (@maroitoje) September 8, 2021
And Better Manchester mayor Andy Burnham informed Sky Information: “I assume prior to now it has been the case that Conservative politicians, a few of whom do not comply with soccer very a lot might not have identified a distinguished Manchester United participant.
“However this is not any Manchester United participant. That is someone who led the highest-profile marketing campaign in all probability that any footballer has ever run within the public area, within the political area, calling at no cost faculty meals for younger folks – straight on the door of Mr Williamson’s division.
“So for him to say he would not know who he’s, what’s he been doing over the past 12 months or so?”
Rashford was amongst these England footballers to be racially abused on social media following nationwide facet’s loss to Italy within the Euro 2020 ultimate at Wembley in July.
Following the defeat, a Conservative MP apologised after suggesting Rashford ought to have spent extra time “perfecting his sport” than “taking part in politics” after he missed a penalty within the ultimate’s shoot-out.