Whilst Manchester United prepare to face Tottenham Hotspur on Friday, Marcus Rashford is busy tackling another London opponent – Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government.
Yesterday we reported that Rashford has penned an open letter to parliament to ask for the recent decision to not extend food vouchers given to children from low income families to cover the school summer holidays to be overturned.
Rashford’s appeal has dominated the news over the last 24 hours and the United star has now gone a step further, writing a column that appears on the front page of The Times asking MPs to make a u-turn on their decision.
‘Ending child poverty is a bigger trophy than any in football,’ Rashford wrote.
‘People often ask me how it felt to score the deciding penalty against PSG to knock them out of the Champions League last season, my answer is always the same: did we go on to win the tournament?
‘The feeling I have is exactly the same [now] as when we got knocked out of the Champions League against Barcelona in the next round: what did we achieve if we didn’t get the result we needed? If we didn’t lift the Champions League trophy?
‘In this case, the trophy is combating child poverty.
‘As I passed through Manchester city centre on the bus as a child and witnessed homelessness on every street corner, I swore that if one day I got in a position to help those people most in need then that is what I would do.
‘When it comes to pulling the national team shirt on we put any rivalry aside — we are England and we stand united. Today I am asking that all MPs put their rivalries aside and stand in solidarity on an issue that could prove detrimental to the stability of families across the country for generations to come. Help us break the cycle of hardship.
‘Please, do the right thing and extend the free food voucher scheme throughout the school summer holidays. Give our vulnerable families just one less thing to worry about.’
The Prime Minister is now facing a rebellion among Tory MPs who have responded to Rashford’s plea.
Robert Halfon, chairman of the education select committee, said: ‘Marcus Rashford is right. No family should be unable to afford to feed their kids this summer.’
Conservative MP Jason McCartney argued: ‘It’s not about politics . . . It’s about doing the right thing for young people around the country.’
‘Labour will today push for a vote on the issue in the Commons and warn that it would be “deeply callous” not to take the “small step” of offering the children support,’ reports The Times.
‘It is believed that the measure over the six holiday weeks would cost about £120 million. The government furlough scheme to help businesses is expected to cost up to £80 billion.’
An official Downing Street spokesperson has said that ‘The PM will respond to Marcus Rashford’s letter as soon as he can — he has been using his profile . . . to highlight some very important issues.’
If the 22-year-old can get José Mourinho´s Spurs side on the back foot as well as he has Boris Johnson this week, United will surely return from London with three valuable points as well as food vouchers for underprivileged families.
Rash is back! As United prepare to restart their season and do battle on three fronts, top scorer Marcus Rashford is fit and back to take his place in the side. But how much do you know about the United star? Take our quiz below to test yourself.