Gavin Williamson mistakenly says he met Marcus Rashford when it was actually England rugby's Maro Itoje


Gavin Williamson mistakenly says he met Marcus Rashford when it was actually England rugby’s Maro Itoje

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has mistakenly claimed he met England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford when he in fact met England rugby’s Maro Itoje. 

The footballer has been a strong critic of Mr Williamson’s handling of free school meals during the Covid pandemic, and asked by the Evening Standard if he had ever met the athlete, the Cabinet minister said he had. 

“We met over Zoom and he seemed incredibly engaged, compassionate and charming but then he had to sho-ot off. I didn’t want to be the one that was holding him back from his training,” Mr Williamson said

But later, the Department for Education contacted journalist Susannah Butter to say the Secretary of State had been mistaken. 

He had actually been talking to British and Irish Lions hero Maro Itoje, who has been campaigning himself on closing the gap when it comes to digital disparity.   

Rashford’s team also confirmed he has never had any direct communication with Mr Williamson. 

The minister did, however, have a call with Itjoe about equal access to education during the Covid crisis.

Reacting to the gaffe, Rashford tweeted that his strong Manchester accent might have been a clue for Mr Williamson, given Itoje’s London lilt. 

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