Education secretary Gavin Williamson was left red-faced after he claimed he had met England footballer Marcus Rashford online when he had in fact met rugby player Maro Itoje.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, the minister said he believed he had met Rashford, who forced the Government into a U-turn on free school meals provision during the pandemic, on Zoom.
But his advisers later told the newspaper that he had actually met rugby star Itoje.
Rashford laughed off Mr Williamson’s gaffe as he tweeted: “Accent could have been a giveaway.”
Accent could have been a giveaway ? https://t.co/CO2oQjiZZ6— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) September 8, 2021
Asked by the Standard whether he had met Rashford, the Cabinet minister told the paper: “We met over Zoom and he seemed incredibly engaged, compassionate and charming but then he had to shoot off. I didn’t want to be the one that was holding him back from his training.”
Shadow justice secretary David Lammy wrote on Twitter: “This is appalling.
“GavinWilliamson what was it about maroitoje that made you mistake him for MarcusRashford?
“You must be the most ignorant, clueless and incapable Education Secretary in the UK’s history.”
Reaction elsewhere has been similarly merciless. Here’s what people had to say:
Gavin Williamson:— Paul Johnson (@paul__johnson) September 8, 2021
‘I was proud to meet Margaret Thatcher’ pic.twitter.com/1aD56d98ZN
.@GavinWilliamson Hey man just wanted to say keep up the good work. Yours, Riz Ahmed— Ahir Shah (@AhirShah) September 8, 2021
Great to meet Gavin Williamson the other day! pic.twitter.com/XGUuRBEGxz— Jamie Stone MP (@Jamie4North) September 8, 2021
Gavin Williamson with some cats ? pic.twitter.com/erttFzh0K0— ??? (@TVRav) September 8, 2021
Heres a picture of Gavin Williamson with Helen Mirren. pic.twitter.com/ukfxuckhOf— Margot ???? #FBPE #FBNHS (@iampetmutton) September 8, 2021
Gavin Williamson meets r2d2. pic.twitter.com/tZhD8B4Zxh— Dr Eric Farmer (@Himself132) September 8, 2021
Gavin Williamson fondly recalls the time he met Geronimo the alpaca… pic.twitter.com/mCcelZXWc9— Mark Worgan (@worgztheowl) September 8, 2021
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