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

PUBLISHED: 10:11 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:06 17 June 2020

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.

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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

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

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.

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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