Marcus Rashford takes fresh swipe at Tories for wasting time over school meals

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Marcus Rashford spoke to Gary Neville about his charitable work (Image: The Overlap)
Marcus Rashford spoke to Gary Neville about his charitable work (Image: The Overlap)

Marcus Rashford says the Tory Government should have made the RIGHT decision "straight away" as he admitted his regret at needing to force a U-turn on free school meals.

The Manchester United and England star became one of the most revered public figures in the country after forcing Boris Johnson's government to change its mind on a food voucher scheme in June 2020. The country was gripped by the Covid pandemic at the time.

The Conservative party initially refused to provide the most vulnerable children in society with a food voucher, but they changed their mind after a powerful campaign from Rashford. That led to around 1.3million children in England receiving a food voucher.

Rashford, who also raised millions of pounds for food charities during the pandemic, was awarded an MBE in November 2021 for his charitable work. Yet the England international is determined to continue campaigning to help vulnerable children.

"I didn’t really concentrate on the government U-turn, that wasn’t at the forefront of my mind [when making sure each child had a meal]," he told Gary Neville on The Overlap.

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"I knew that we might have had to do that when Boris made the decision to go public with what he said, after we spoke to him. I knew that was the next thing we had to change, but that pushed me towards the public a bit more.

"We needed them as support and they were learning more about the topic, as I was learning about the topic as well, because the numbers are crazier than what you could imagine, especially in Greater Manchester so it was more about helping the individuals that needed the help.

Marcus Rashford takes fresh swipe at Tories for wasting time over school mealsRashford worked tirelessly to ensure more than one million children received a food voucher (Getty Images)
Marcus Rashford takes fresh swipe at Tories for wasting time over school mealsBoris Johnson and his government were forced into a U-turn by the Man Utd and England star (AP)

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"I wish the U-turn never happened and we just managed to get it done straight away, because at the end of the day we lost a little bit of time. Time is important and a lot of things can happen in a short space of time."

Neville described Rashford's impact as "unbelievable" and insisted he was one of the most popular people in Greater Manchester because of it. Many others have praised Rashford before, with David Beckham claiming his charitable work is "exceptional".

Despite having already made a huge impact, Rashford is determined to keep working hard. He added: "Just before the pandemic, I bumped into an old school friend, and he was homeless. He was one of those kids at school whose parents were in a better position than most of us and then to see him there, it was a shocking moment.

"It pushed me back a little bit and I thought, we’re going to try and do something to not just change his life, but everyone’s lives that are in difficult situations.

"It’s a long process, we’re still early in the process, but I’m just pleased that it’s up and running now because step by step it takes more care of itself. The public have shown that they care, and I feel like more people have made a difference now and made a change to people’s lives."

Tom Blow

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