Maro Itoje mocks Gavin Williamson for confusing him with Marcus Rashford

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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he had met England footballer Marcus Rashford online when he had in fact met rugby player Maro Itoje  (ES)
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he had met England footballer Marcus Rashford online when he had in fact met rugby player Maro Itoje (ES)

Maro Itoje playfully poked fun at Gavin Williamson on social media after the education secretary confused him with Marcus Rashford.

Red-faced Mr Williamson said he made a “genuine mistake” when he claimed to have met the Manchester United player in an Evening Standard interview but had in fact crossed paths with the England rugby star.

In good humour, Mr Itoje responded in tongue and cheek fashion on Twitter.

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The sports star jokingly confirmed he was not Mr Rashford in a tweet to his 98.3K followers on Wednesday following the blunder.

He wrote: “Due to recent speculation I thought it was necessary to confirm that I am not Marcus Rashford… And whilst we are here my name is not Mario either!! Just a simple Maro Itoje will do… Much love, Marcu… I mean Maro Itoje.”

Mr Rashford also shared a cheeky response on social media.

He wrote with a laughing emoji: “Accent could have been a giveaway.”

Mr Williamson has since spoken out to say he has huge respect for both Mr Rashford and Mr Itoje as well as their inspiring campaigns.

“Towards the end of a wide-ranging interview in which I talked about both the laptops and school meals campaigns, I conflated the issues and made a genuine mistake,” he said.

“We corrected this with the journalist before publication of the story. I have huge respect for both Marcus Rashford and Maro Itoje who run effective and inspiring campaigns.”

Initially Mr Williamson made the blunder in a chat before his team later clarified he had in fact spoken with Camden-born Itoje about laptops for students and equal access to education during Covid.

The Cabinet minister said: “We met over Zoom and he seemed incredibly engaged, compassionate and charming but then he had to shoot off. I didn’t want to be the one that was holding him back from his training.”

Previously, Rashford was a strong critic of Mr Williamson’s handling of school meals during the pandemic.

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Williamson breaks silence as Rashford and Itoje respond to mistake

Gavin Williamson confused Marcus Rashford with Maro Itoje on Zoom call

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