Education minister 'mixes up Marcus Rashford with black rugby player Maro Itoje'

Gavin Williamson is reported to have claimed he held a meeting over Zoom with Marcus Rashford – but actually met with a different black sports star, Maro Itoje.

The education minister made the slip in an interview with the Evening Standard, saying he had responded to footballer Mr Rashford’s campaign for an urgent review of the free school meals system.

‘We met over Zoom and he seemed incredibly engaged, compassionate and charming but then he had to shoot off,’ he told the interviewer.

‘I didn’t want to be the one that was holding him back from his training.’

But later, his team clarifed that Mr Williamson met rugby player Maro Itoje, who campaigned to bridge the ‘digital divide’ by providing pupils with equipment to access online learning from home in the pandemic.

Marcus Rashford responded to the apparent mix-up today, tweeting alongside a cry laugh emoji: ‘Accent could have been a giveaway’. has contacted the Department for Education for comment.

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