Matt Hancock explains why he called Marcus Rashford 'Daniel'

17 June 2020, 09:52

By Asher McShane

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he may have had "Harry Potter on the mind" when he mistakenly praised "Daniel Rashford" for his work on free school meals.

He then told 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" - in a possible mix-up between the books and the star of the Harry Potter films Daniel Radcliffe.

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 £120 million fund to feed 1.3 million children in England over the six-week break.

Denying that the Government made an embarrassing U-turn on the subject, Mr Hancock told Sky News on Wednesday 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.

Matt Hancock explained the mix-up saying he had "Harry Potter on the brain"
Matt Hancock explained the mix-up saying he had "Harry Potter on the brain". Picture: LBC

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

Mr 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.