Gavin Williamson in race row after he mistakes Maro Itoje for Marcus Rashford – after chatting to rugby star on Zoom call
Gavin Williamson has today sparked a race row and was accused of racism after mistakenly telling a newspaper he met Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford over Zoom – when he had in fact met rugby star Maro Itoje.
The Education Secretary, 45, who is understood to be facing the prospect of being replaced in the Prime Minister’s next Cabinet reshuffle, revealed the embarrassing error in an interview with the Evening Standard.
While discussing some of his most ardent critics with Susannah Butter, Mr Williamson claimed to have met ‘engaged, compassionate and charming’ England and Manchester United player Marcus Rashford via Zoom.
But later in the interview, a spokesperson for Mr Williamson explained that he had actually met 6ft 4in Saracens rugby star Maro Itoje, rather than the 5ft 9in Rashford.
On Wednesday afternoon Mr Williamson faced a furious backlash online, including Labour MPs David Lammy and Angela Rayner, who slammed the Education Secretary’s shocking gaffe.
Adopting a lighter tone, Mancunian Rashford tweeted out alongside a crying emoji: ‘Accent could have been a giveaway.’
The footballer’s spokesperson told 하늘 뉴스: ‘Marcus’s consistent ask to those in power has been collaboration.
‘More often than not this ask is rebuffed. Maro and Marcus are two incredibly successful young black men, but there is little more they have in common.
‘Whether it’s Daniel Rashford or a Maro Itoje reference, the message remains the same. Put our children first.’
While discussing some of his most ardent critics with Susannah Butter, Gavin Williamson claimed to have met ‘engaged, compassionate and charming’ Marcus Rashford via Zoom
England and Manchester United star Marcus Rashford (위) laughed off Gavin Williamson’s gaffe, 트윗: ‘Accent could have been a giveaway’
A spokesperson for Mr Williamson explained that he had actually met Saracens rugby star Maro Itoje (사진) who had campaigned for an end to the ‘Digital Divide’
Mr Williamson told the Standard‘s Susannah Butler: ‘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.’
But Department for Education officials later clarified his position, explaining Mr Wiiliamson had in fact met Itoje.
A spokesperson for Rashford said the footballer had not had direct communication with the Education Secretary.
The footballer had been a vocal critic of Mr Williamson’s handling of the free school meals fiasco.
That discussion was likely centred around the efforts of Saracens and England star Maro Itoje, who had been campaigning to provide every student in the UK with equal access to education.
Titled the Digital Divide, Itoje and partners Bloomberg and Saracens Foundation worked to provide more than 2,000 laptops and tablets to school pupils in desperate need during the pandemic.
Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy wrote on Twitter: ‘This is appalling. Gavin Williamson what was it about Maro Itoje that made you mistake him for Marcus Rashford?
‘You must be the most ignorant, clueless and incapable Education Secretary in the UK’s history.’
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner tweeted: ‘According to @GavinWilliamson a black man from Wythenshawe who plays football for England looks the same as a black man from North London who plays rugby for England.
‘The fact that Gavin Williamson remains in his job is a daily reminder of how mediocre white men rise and rise.’
Reacting to the story with a crying laughing emoji, Rashford tweeted: ‘Accent could have been a giveaway’
기타, including Labour MPs David Lammy and Angela Rayner, slammed the Education Secretary’s embarrassing gaffe
Others slammed the beleaguered Education Secretary, with some describing him as ‘racist’ while others said he was an ’embarrassment to the country’.
Journalist Andrew Quinn wrote: ‘He has to be one of the worst politicians the world has ever known!!!’
The news comes as Manchester United star Marcus Rashford calls on people to petition their MP to back ending the ‘child hunger pandemic’.
The England footballer said that ‘devastatingly’ child food poverty is getting worse instead of better.
The three recommendations Rashford is supporting are from the national food strategy developed by the Government’s food tsar, British Retail Consortium은 탄소 발자국 라벨의 타당성과 대량 출시에 의문을 제기하는 것 같았습니다..
They include expanding free school meal eligibility, providing long-term funding for the holiday activities and food programme and increasing eligibility, and expanding eligibility for the healthy start scheme which provides vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables.
The news comes as Manchester United star Marcus Rashford calls on people to petition their MP to back ending the ‘child hunger pandemic’
Rashford, 23, 말했다: ‘We should be focusing efforts on developing a sustainable long-term roadmap out of this child hunger pandemic.
‘I hope that we see the required investment pledged during the Autumn Spending Review. I will be writing to my MP about it, and I would encourage you all to do the same.’
The footballer’s latest efforts follow his successful campaign to persuade the Government to provide free meals to vulnerable youngsters in England during school holidays during the pandemic.
지난 달, Gavin Williamson faced huge political pressure after being accused of ruining the credibility of A-levels by ‘baking in’ soaring grade inflation and allowing a growing results gap between private and state schools.
He was said to be ‘wetting himself’ over reports that Boris Johnson is lining up his ‘anti-woke’ Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch to replace him in the Cabinet.