Hancock: I may have had Harry Potter on the mind in Rashford name slip

Matt Hancock discusses Marcus Rashford's campaign with Kay Burley. Photograph: Sky News.

Matt Hancock discusses Marcus Rashford's campaign with Kay Burley. Photograph: Sky News. - Credit: Archant

Matt Hancock has said he may have had 'Harry Potter on the mind' when he mistakenly praised 'Daniel Rashford' for his work on free school meals

Man U's Marcus Rashford... scores government U-turn to extend free school meals in summer holidays.

Man U's Marcus Rashford... scores government U-turn to extend free school meals in summer holidays. Picture: BBC Breakfast - Credit: BBC

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford led a campaign to extend the children's food voucher scheme into the summer holidays, which forced a change in policy with a £120m fund to feed 1.3m children in England over the six-week break.

Denying that the government made an embarrassing U-turn on the subject, the health secretary told Sky News this morning: 'Righty-ho, I will tell you what happened, the prime minister talked to Daniel Rashford, he considered it and made his decision - I think it's terrific.'

The minister later told radio station LBC that his child's fondness for the JK Rowling novels may have been to blame and 'maybe I had Harry Potter on the mind'.

Harry Potter was played by Daniel Radcliffe in the movie adaptions of the popular books.


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Hancock added: '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.'

He suggested it had been 'too early in the morning' and laughed as he told BBC Breakfast: 'I completely misspoke.'

England star Rashford, 22, appeared to joke about the incident, responding on Twitter by saying 'I've been called much worse over the last couple of days' with a laughing face emoji.

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