Conservative MP Apologises For ‘Disgusting’ Message Following Leaked Group Chat Screenshot

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 12 Jul 2021 15:32
Conservative MP Apologises For ‘Disgusting’ Message Following Leaked Group Chat ScreenshotPA Images

The Tory MP who criticised Marcus Rashford in a leaked group chat screengrab has apologised for her comments.

Natalie Elphicke, a Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, wrote a text suggesting Rashford should ‘focus on his play’ in the wake of him missing his penalty in yesterday’s Euros final against Italy.


The leaked message from Elphicke read, ‘They lost – would it be ungenerous to suggest Rashford should have spent more time perfecting his game and less time playing politics.’

Marcus Rashford at Euros 2020 final (PA) PA Images

Rashford played a huge part in the government’s decision to continue free school meals for children throughout the holidays, and even helped out at food banks himself last year.

He’s since become the youngest person ever to top The Times’ ‘Giving List’ after raising a staggering £20 million for groups looking to tackle child food poverty in the UK.


Following her controversial comments, Elphicke has now apologised for criticising the 23-year-old Manchester United player, BBC News reports.

MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke (PA)PA Images

She said:

I applaud the England team who gave their all in Euro 2020. Last night I shared the frustration and heartbreak of millions of other England fans.

I regret messaging privately a rash reaction about Marcus Rashford’s missed penalty and apologise to him for any suggestion that he is not fully focused on his football.


Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has since indirectly called out Elphicke for her message. She said, ‘While the country was commiserating [with] our great team, Tory MPs were sneering at the inspirational players who stepped up to feed hungry kids when they voted to leave them without food.’

Others have also criticised the Conservative MP. Someone wrote on Twitter, ‘Would it be ungenerous to suggest Rashford would have been able to spend more time perfecting his game had he not have had to do Natalie Elphicke’s job for her?’

Another person agreed, writing, ‘Then maybe Natalie needs to focus on being an MP than commenting about what others are doing. Then people like Marcus won’t have to do HER job. Our football team are superb, our government is not.’


A third Twitter-user said, ‘Funnily enough I always saw feeding hungry kids, no matter where they are, as being a humanitarian issue about civilised societies, not “playing politics”. Sad todays Tories still consider eating to survive as privilege.’

Rashford himself is yet to comment on the message leak and Elphicke’s apology.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Football, Marcus Rashford, no-article-matching, Now, Sport, World News


BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Marcus Rashford: Dover MP Natalie Elphicke apologises over penalty comments