Thérèse Coffey in hot water over ‘snarky’ response to Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign

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A minister has become embroiled in a row over her response to footballer Marcus Rashford’s plea for the government to extend its free school meal voucher scheme through the summer.

On his campaign, Rashford tweeted: “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.”

Work and Pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey posted on Twitter: “Water cannot be disconnected though”. And Coffey’s tweet wasn’t even direct to Rashford but in response to a tweet from journalist Paul Waugh:

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The comment was widely criticised, with shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds describing it as “snarky”.

In response to Coffey’s tweet, Rashford said on Twitter: “I’m concerned this is the only tweet of mine you acknowledged. Please, put rivalries aside for a second, and make a difference.”

His plea came as Tory MP Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Select Committee, admitted that there were “mixed views” among Conservative politicians over the extension of the free school meals programme.

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