Health Secretary Matt Hancock Gets Marcus Rashford Confused With Harry Potter During Live TV Interview
On Wednesday morning (17th June), the Health Secretary was being interviewed about the government's U-turn on extending the free school meal voucher scheme, which they decided to approve following a campaign by the footballer.
Speaking to Sky News about the government's decision to pledge £120million toward the scheme, Hancock said: "Righty ho, well I'll tell you what happened, the Prime Minister talked to Daniel Rashford, he considered it and made his decision.
"I think it's terrific, I think it's important we get as much support as possible to people who are in difficult circumstances, especially with coronavirus."
As you can imagine, this was quickly fodder for online mockery with people calling out Hancock's gaff, including Gary Lineker, who joked: "Good to see @MattHancock finally giving credit to footballers and Daniel Rashford in particular."
Taking it in his stride, the 22-year-old striker, who has been heading up the campaign, laughed: "I've been called much worse over the last couple of days."
Hancock was quick to blame his error on it being "too early" while adding his praise for the activist: "But in all seriousness Marcus you're a credit to the nation."
♂️ Too early. But in all seriousness Marcus you're a credit to the nation.
- Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) June 17, 2020
The minister later told radio station LBC London that his child's obsession with Harry Potter may have been the reason why he misspoke.
After all, 30-year-old actor Daniel Radcliffe plays the titular character in the JK Rowling book adaptations.
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"Maybe I had Harry Potter on the mind," he said, explaining: "My seven-year-old listens to Harry Potter and reads Harry Potter avidly, including at 5.30 this morning when I got up to do this morning's media round."
Marcus Rashford has won his campaign for the government to extend the issuing of free school meal vouchers for families in need.
During the coronavirus lockdown, the government has been providing vouchers to families whose children qualify for free meals, however, they had insisted this wouldn't continue outside of term time.
This prompted Rashford to pen an emotional open letter to MPs urging them to reconsider.
He wrote: "My story to get here is all-too-familiar for families in England: my mum worked full-time, earning minimum wage to make sure we always had a good evening meal on the table. But it was not enough. The system was not built for families like mine to succeed, regardless of how hard my mum worked.
"As a family, we relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals, and the kind actions of neighbours and coaches. Food banks and soup kitchens were not alien to us; I recall very clearly our visits to Northern Moor to collect our Christmas dinners every year.
"It's only now that I really understand the enormous sacrifice my mum made in sending me away to live in digs aged 11, a decision no mother would ever make lightly."
At first, the Prime Minister's office stated the free school vouchers were a "unique circumstances of the pandemic" and would not continue into the summer holidays, before making a remarkable U-turn, extending the scheme.
Now, around 1.3m children in England will be able to claim free school meals during the holidays.
Rashford told BBC Breakfast he was "grateful that the prime minister did change his decision".
What a legend.
Featured Image Credit: Sky
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