Matt Hancock calls Marcus Rashford ‘Daniel’ as he blames embarrassing blunder on watching Harry Potter


MATT Hancock has blamed his embarrassing Marcus Rashford blunder on watching Harry Potter after he called the footie star “Daniel”.

The Health Secretary said he had the teenage wizard “on the mind” when he mistakenly praised “Daniel Rashford” for his work on free school meals..

Matt Hancock made the gaffe while appearing on Sky News

Explaining himself today, Mr Hancock suggested he mixed up the Manchester United star with Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the film adapations of the novels.

He told LBC: “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.”

The Health Secretary made the mistake live on TV this morning, despite the England forward being the most talked about man in politics

Appearing on Sky News, Mr Hancock was asked about the star after he forced Boris Johnson to u-turn and provide £15 a week free school meals vouchers for poor kids during the summer holidays.


He said: “Righty-ho. Well I’ll tell you what happened, the Prime Minister talked to Daniel Rashford, he considered it and made his decision.

“I think it’s terrific, I’m in favour of making sure we get as much support as possible for people in difficult circumstances.

“I think that Marcus Rashford has done a great thing in the campaigning he’s done.”

Marcus Rashford made the government pull a u-turn on providing free-school meals for poor families during the summer holiday


The blunder has been mocked on Twitter with people lining up to poke fun at the Health Secretary.

England legend Gary Lineker wrote: “Good to see Matt Hancock finally giving credit to footballers and Daniel Rashford in particular.”

With Rashford quickly replying: “I’ve been called a lot worse over the last couple of days” with a laughing crying emoji.

Ex-Man United star Gary Neville also joined in and wrote “Morning Daniel” and tagged Rashford.

He added: “We all get names wrong but not that one this morning!”

Tory MP Richard Holden later made a similar gaffe, calling the football star “Martin Rashford” on BBC Radio 5 live.

Mr Hancock later replied to Rashford’s tweet and blamed his error on getting up early for the interview.

He tweeted: “Too early. But in all seriousness Marcus you’re a credit to the nation”, with an embarassed and a wizard emoji – after people suggested the Tory MP confused the footballer with movie wizard Radcliffe.

Piers Morgan said the Health Secretary’s gaffe was a sign of how out of touch he was.

He said on GMB: “To give you an indication of just how in touch Matt Hancock is, he just thanked a footballer for driving a u-turn, do you know what he called him – he called him Daniel Rashford.

“Daniel Rashford that famous footballer, this is the same Matt Hancock that was very big on footballers. Do you remember?”

Brits were stunned that Mr Hancock managed to get Rashford’s name wrong.

One wrote: “The most talked about individual in the UK in the past 24 hours. ‘Daniel Rashford’.”

Another said: “Good grief. At least have the common, bl***y decency to get his name right.”


The PM’s spokesperson said yesterday that the Government would run a Covid food fund throughout the summer.

He said: “The PM welcomed Marcus Rashford’s contribution to the debate around poverty and I said he would be responding as soon as possible.

“Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the PM fully understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer.

“To to reflect this, we will be providing a Covid summer food fund.

“This will provide food vouchers covering the six week holiday period.

“This was a specific measure to reflect the unique circumstances of the pandemic.

“The scheme will not continue beyond the summer and those eligible will be those who already qualify for free school meals.”

Ministers have said they will continue with plans to put an additional £63million of money into local authorities to help those who can’t afford basic essentials.


The dramatic u-turn followed England star Rashord penning a heartfelt open letter to the government – urging them to reverse their decision.

He wrote: “The Government has taken a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to the economy – I’m asking you today to extend that same thinking to protecting all vulnerable children across England.

“I encourage you to hear their pleas and find your humanity.”

Rashford, who has raised £20 million to boost food distribution with the charity FareShare,  revealed how he used food banks and received free meals during his childhood in Manchester.

The forward wrote: “We relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals, and the kind actions of neighbours and coaches.

“Food banks and soup kitchens were not alien to us – I recall very clearly our visits to Northern Moor to collect our Christmas dinners every year.

“As a black man from a low-income family in Manchester, I could have been just another statistic.

“Make the U-turn and make protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable a top priority.

“Instead, due to the selfless actions of my mum, my family, my neighbours, and my coaches, the only stats I’m associated with are goals, appearances and caps.”

Rashford has raised £20 million to boost food distribution with the charity FareShare