Tory cabinet minister Therese Coffey slammed for ‘shameful’ response to Marcus Rashford over free school meals – The Sun

TORY cabinet minister Therese Coffey has been slammed for her “shameful” response to Marcus Rashford over his free school meals plea.

Ms Coffey was accused of being “heartless” after replying to a tweet from the Manchester United striker urging the government to remember Britain’s poorest families.

Rashford, 22, tweeted this morning: “When you wake up this morning and run your shower, take a second to think about parents who have had their water turned off during lockdown.”

The Tory MP hit back: “Water cannot be disconnected though.”

But England star Rashford told Ms Coffey to forget about political point scoring and back his campaign to ensure free school meals are dished out throughout the summer holiday.

He wrote: “I’m concerned this is the only tweet of mine you acknowledged. Please, put rivalries aside for a second, and make a difference #maketheuturn.”

The Suffolk MP was then forced to climb down on her earlier tweet and said she “welcomed his passion”.

Ms Coffey tweeted: “Hi Marcus Rashford, I welcome your passion for supporting children and the most vulnerable in society – a passion we share. We are working to the same aim.

“I & this Government will continue to actively help and support families and businesses through this emergency and beyond.”

I’m concerned this is the only tweet of mine you acknowledged. Please, put rivalries aside for a second, and make a difference #maketheuturn.


Piers Morgan accused Ms Coffey of being "tone deaf" and said she had "no empathy or attempt to understand".

He added on Twitter: "It’s time to disconnect Therese Coffey from the Government."

Brits have also been disgusted by Ms Coffey’s “disgusting” response.

One tweeter fumed: “Really? Is that your reply? Shameful!”

Another wrote: “What a disgusting response. How can you misjudge the mood so much. Shame on you.”

One man said: “You really haven’t a clue have you. The country is behind Marcus Rashford on this one.”

Another said: “You should be ashamed of that response.

“Dismissive, flippant, arrogant, detached from reality – all the worst things about modern politics and politicians.”


It comes after Piers blasted Matt Hancock as a “fiasco” over the government's reluctance to back Rashford's "very worthy" campaign.

The GMB host told the Health Secretary to “do your bit” after the Premier League star sent an impassioned plea to 650 MPs earlier this week.

Piers lauded Rashford's campaign and criticised the Tory MP after he told footballers to “take a pay cut” to help the economy during the coronavirus crisis.

Piers fumed this morning: “Who the hell did Matt Hancock think he was, lecturing footballers?

“He’s not prepared to follow that himself.

“He’s not prepared to lose a penny of his own salary – he’s been a total fiasco in this pandemic as Health Secretary.

“We’ve had the worst record in the world for death rates.

Why don’t you do your bit, Matt Hancock, Boris Johnson now and give Marcus Rashford a win on this very worthy campaign.

“We’ve had the worst approval rating from our people here, for how our government’s handled it.”

He added: “There he is lecturing footballers about what they should be doing to do their bit.

“Well they just did, so why don’t you do your bit, Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson now; and give Marcus Rashford a win on this very, very worthy campaign and let these hungry kids get some food for the rest of the summer.

“That’s doing your bit and you know what, you can also help a bit, take a pay cut.

“Like your colleagues in New Zealand that have actually been fantastically successful.”


England star Rashford penned an open letter this week asking the Government to reverse its decision to cease the free school meals scheme – for which nearly 1.3 million children are eligible – outside of school term time.

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. Please reconsider your decision to cancel the food voucher scheme over the summer holiday and guarantee the extension.

“This is England in 2020, and this is an issue that needs urgent assistance.

“Please, while the eyes of the nation are on you, make the U-turn and make protecting the lives of some of our most vulnerable a top priority.”


Rashford, who has raised £20 million to boost food distribution with the charity FareShare, has said 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 again urged the government to “#maketheuturn” this morning as he asked MPs to think about struggling families who can’t pay bills or buy food.

He tweeted: “Recognise children around the country are this morning innocently questioning ‘why?’

"Nine out of 30 children in any given classroom are today asking ‘why?’

“‘Why does our future not matter?’”

A Department of Education spokesman has said the national voucher scheme "will not run during the summer holidays".

However, Boris Johnson's official spokesman said the Prime Minister will respond to Rashford's letter "as soon as he can".

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