Ministers defend Priti Patel insisting SHE suffers online racist abuse

Ministers defend Priti Patel insisting SHE suffers online racist abuse after Home Secretary was blasted by England star Tyrone Mings for ‘stoking the fire’ of racism – as Labour’s Angela Rayner demands she ‘take the knee and apologise’

  • Stephen Barclay jumped to Priti Patel’s defense after Tyrone Mings accused her of ‘stoking the fire’ of racism
  • Mings said she had ‘no right’ to condemn the racist abuse against fellow stars Rashford, Sancho and Saka 
  • Barclay said Patel, the daughter of Ugandan Asian immigrants, has ‘repeatedly taken a stand against racism’ 
  • Angela Raynor urged Ms Patel and PM to ‘take the knee’ for ‘giving these racist scumbags license to abuse’
  • And ex-player insisted Mings has ‘very right to be angry’, just as ‘millions of people are across this country’

Ministers have backed Priti Patel by insisting she suffers online racist abuse herself – as Labour calls on the Home Secretary to ‘take the knee’ and apologise for giving ‘racist scumbags the license to abuse’ football players. 

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay jumped to Ms Patel’s defense after Tyrone Mings accused the Home Secretary of ‘stoking the fire’ of racism by labelling the team taking the knee as ‘gesture politics’.

The Three Lions ace said she had ‘no right’ to condemn the barrage of online racist abuse against fellow stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka  after they missed penalties in Sunday night’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy. 

But Mr Barclay insisted the Home Secretary, the daughter of Ugandan Asian immigrants, has ‘repeatedly taken a stand against racism’.

He told Sky News: ‘The Home Secretary herself has been the subject of appalling online racist abuse.

‘She has consistently condemned racist abuse online and she has taken action as Home Secretary against some of the extreme right-wing groups that are responsible for this.’

It came as Labour backed Mings’ statement, with Deputy Leader Angela Raynor urging both Ms Patel and the Prime Minister to ‘take the knee and apologise’ for ‘giving these racist scumbags license to abuse our players’.

And an ex-England player today insisted Mings has ‘very right to be angry’, just as ‘millions of people are across this country’, over the Home Secretary’s comments. 

Marvin Sordell, a former England Under-21 and Watford striker, admitted racism was a ‘big factor’ in his retirement from the sport aged 28, as he struggled with his own mental wellbeing. He scored 68 career goals in 321 appearances.

England star Tyrone Mings (pictured taking the knee during a friendly against Romania in June) said the Home Secretary had ‘no right’ to condemn the barrage of online racist abuse against fellow stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after they missed penalties in Sunday night’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy 


Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay (right) jumped to Priti Patel’s (left) defense after Tyrone Mings accused the Home Secretary of ‘stoking the fire’ of racism by labelling the team taking the knee as ‘gesture politics’

It came as Labour backed Mings’ statement, with Deputy Leader Angela Raynor (pictured) urging both Ms Patel and the Prime Minister to ‘take the knee and apologise’ for ‘giving these racist scumbags license to abuse our players’

It came as Labour backed Mings’ statement, with Deputy Leader Angela Raynor (pictured) urging both Ms Patel and the Prime Minister to ‘take the knee and apologise’ for ‘giving these racist scumbags license to abuse our players’

Yesterday, Ms Patel described the abuse of England’s stars as ‘disgusting’, as she joined the nationwide condemnation of those behind the messages.

But, replying to the Tweet, the England defender said: ‘You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as “Gesture Politics” and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.’ 

Ms Rayner echoed his criticism, writing: ‘If you blow the dog whistle then you are to blame when the dogs start barking. 

‘Boris Johnson and Priti Patel should take the knee and apologise to Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka for giving these racist scumbags license to abuse our players and ask for forgiveness.’

And today, Sordell – a member of the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board – told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘He has every right to be angry, just as I am, just as I’m sure millions of people are across this country as well.

‘Because there was a massive opportunity to show strong leadership at that point. And I think it was very clear at that point, it was very clear before that, that players taking the knee wasn’t anything more than them trying to raise awareness for a topic that has again come up.

‘There was an opportunity then to really back the players in what they’re trying to do, what they’re trying to achieve, the positive message that they’re trying to talk about, and yet that was dismissed and people were allowed the opportunity to react negatively to something that was purely positive.’

Prior to the tournament, the Home Secretary had said she ‘did not support’ those engaging in ‘that type of gesture politics’ when asked if she supported stars taking the knee

A Tory backbencher was forced to backtrack after a horrific own goal attack on England star Marcus Rashford over his missed Euro 2020 penalty.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke suggested the Manchester United star should have practised spot kicks instead of campaigning for free meals for deprived schoolchildren during lockdown.

She made the remark in a Tory MP WhatsApp group after the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 defeat on penalties to Italy at Wembley. 

Manchester United striker Rashford was one of three England players to miss in the deciding shoot-out in the Three Lions’ first major final in 55 years.

In a message first revealed by GB News, Mrs Elphicke told other Tories: ‘They lost – would it be ungenerous to suggest Rashford should have spent more time perfecting his game and less time playing politics.(sic)’ 

But, after her comments were leaked and widely criticised she took to Twitter to heap praise on the team.

‘Last night I shared the frustration and heartbreak of millions of England fans,’ she said.

‘The team gave their all. Congratulations and onwards to the

The Home Secretary earlier dismissed the stance of England players in taking the knee in the fight for racial equality.

‘I just don’t support people participating in that type of gesture politics,’ Ms Patel said in an interview with GB News.

Asked whether England fans had a right to boo their national team, she said: ‘That’s a choice for them quite frankly. I’ve not gone to a football match to even contemplate that.’

The comments from England star Mings follow on from those of Tory peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsie, who responded to Ms Patel’s tweet by saying the the Government needed to ‘think about our role in feeding this culture’.   

She said: ‘Priti – We as govt, as Conservatives, need to think about our role in feeding this culture in our country If we “whistle” and the “dog” reacts we cant be shocked if it barks and bites.

‘It’s time to stop the culture wars that are feeding division. Dog whistles win votes but destroy nations.’

Meanwhile, Downing Street defended Boris Johnson after he was accused of ‘giving licence’ to racist idiots who abused black England players after the Euro 2020 final.

Labour politicians and party supporter Gary Neville hit out at the Prime Minister’s own record – and that of Home Secretary Priti Patel – amid widespread public revulsion at social media hatred shown towards Three Lions stars. 

Mr Neville, the Manchester United star turned pundit, said the PM had promoted racism by describing Muslim women as looking like ‘letterboxes’ in a newspaper column before he became Tory leader.

However, the attacks prompted a hard hit back by Downing Street. 

Mr Johnson’s spokesman told reporters this afternoon that: ‘The Prime Minister was clear that he wanted to see everyone getting behind the team to cheer them on. He made that clear on the 11th, before England’s first game.’ 

England’s midfielder Kalvin Phillips and an Italian opponent take the knee before the start of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley 

‘You are not fans. We do not want you’: England captain Harry Kane joins manager Gareth Southgate’s condemnation of those behind racist abuse 

Harry Kane tonight sent a clear message to those behind the vile racist abuse of England stars in the wake of England’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat by saying: ‘We don’t want you.’

The England skipper condemned the abuse aimed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka as ‘vile’, adding that the players, who were seen visibly distraught after missing penalties in the shoot-out defeat to Italy, ‘deserve support and backing’.

And in a stinging message, he called out those behind the messages, saying they were ‘not England fans’. 

In a strongly-worded post on Twitter, the striker said: ‘Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a pen when the stakes were high. 

‘They deserve support and backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.’

It comes as England manager Gareth Southgate this morning savaged the abuse of his players as ‘unforgivable’ after they were trolled by racists overnight.

He blasted mindless social media morons who bombarded Saka, Rashford and Sancho with vile slurs after the heartbreaking defeat at Wembley on Sunday.

The England boss hit out after Prince William and the Prime Minister branded the abuse unacceptable and sickening after the defeat.

Southgate said: ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match. It is totally unacceptable that players have had to endure this abhorrent behaviour. I must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.

 ‘For some of them to be abused is unforgivable really. I know a lot of that has come from abroad, that people who track those things have been able to explain that, but not all of it.

‘It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.

‘We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together.’ 

 

The Prime Minister also went on the offensive last night.

Facing the nation at a Covid press conference he said: ‘To those who have been directing racist abuse at some of the players I say shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged.

‘Because this entire team played like heroes and I’m sure that this is just the beginning of their achievements, and I say bring on Qatar next year, and let’s also dare to start, together with Ireland, how the United Kingdom can host the World Cup in 2030.’

Both Mr Johnson and Ms Patel took to social media yesterday morning to condemn mindless social media morons who bombarded Saka, Rashford and Sancho with abuse after the Wembley heartbreak. 

England boss Gareth Southgate and Prince William also went public to state the abuse was unacceptable.

But in comments that may lead to accusations of political point scoring by Tory backbenchers Ms Rayner said: ‘The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary gave licence to the racists who booed the England players and are now racially abusing England players.

‘Boris Johnson and Priti Patel are like arsonists complaining about a fire they poured petrol on. Total hypocrites.’

Party leader Keir Starmer later doubled down, telling reporters: ‘This is about leadership, and I’m afraid the Prime Minister has failed the test of leadership because whatever he says today about racism he had a simple choice at the beginning of this tournament in relation to the booing of those who were taking the knee.’ 

Mr Neville, who backed Jeremy Corbyn at the last election, said: ‘The Prime Minister said it was OK for the population of this country to boo those players who were trying to promote equality and defend against racism. It starts at the very top.’ 

Facebook and Instagram this morning said it had tried to remove comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers, but many were still visible this lunchtime.

The huge tech firm insisted: ‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’ 

Damian Green, a Conservative MP and member of the DCMS committee, said he believed it would be ‘not too difficult’ for social media platforms to do more to monitor racist comments made on their websites.

He told BBC’s World at One programme: ‘Their algorithms are incredibly good, and are able to target adverts at every one of their billions of users. 

‘I don’t think it would be that difficult, for example, to check on every use of the monkey emoji, and if it’s being used in an unacceptable context – as clearly it was over the past 24 hours – then take those posts down immediately and see if you can find out who the person who sent them was and get them off your platform.’

Prince William led earlier calls to stop the posts and said he was sickened by racist abuse of the England team, branding vile slurs at players ‘totally unacceptable’.

The Duke of Cambridge, who was at the game on Sunday with Kate and George, called for those behind the messages to be punished.

The PM has faced accusations that he was earlier  equivocal over the booing by England fans.

A few days beforehand his official spokesman declined to condemn those who booed players, only going so far as urging them to be ‘respectful’.

A Tory MP was earlier forced to backtrack after a horrific own goal attack on England star Marcus Rashford over his missed Euro 2020 penalty.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke suggested the Manchester United star should have practised spot kicks instead of campaigning for free meals for deprived schoolchildren during lockdown.

She made the remark in a Tory MP WhatsApp group after the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 defeat. 

Ms Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, added: ‘While the country was commiserating our great team, Tory MPs were sneering at an inspirational player who stepped up to feed hungry kids when they voted to leave them without food.

‘Whether it’s their failure to support the vulnerable, or booing our boys after they have done our whole country proud, the Nasty Party is back.

‘The question every Conservative MP needs to answer is – did they call out these appalling comments? 

‘And after his failure to support our players in their stance against racism, Boris Johnson must publicly condemn these disgraceful messages. Whose side is he on, the lion hearts on the pitch or the Tory MPs who attack them.’ 

Meanwhile, Rashford said he was left ‘close to tears’ after well-wishers covered graffiti sprayed on his Manchester mural with loving notes in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache. 

The England star, 23, penned an emotional open letter to England fans apologising for his penalty shoot-out miss against Italy at Wembley.

The striker, who was left visibly distraught after his penalty hit the post, also paid tribute to his supportive teammates and vowed to ‘come back stronger’ after the heartbreaking finale to Euro 2020.

But the star – who faced a barrage of racist abuse from vile online trolls in the wake of the defeat – reserved a special thank you for those who had stepped in to restore his mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington. 

The painted image was defaced, in what is being investigated by police as a possible ‘hate crime’, with derogatory comments about Rashford and included the words ‘sh**e’ and ‘b*****d’. Further graffiti said ‘f**k Sancho’ – a reference to Three Lions teammate Jadon Sancho.

However Rashford fans quickly rushed to the site to hide the abusive messages, before placing hearts over the covering.

Marcus Rashford said he was ‘close to tears’ after well-wishers covered graffiti sprayed on his Manchester mural with notes of support in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache


A local resident puts love hearts and slogans on the plastic that covers offensive graffiti on the vandalised mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford

Harry Kane tonight sent a clear message to those behind the vile racist abuse of England stars in the wake of Sunday’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat by saying ‘we don’t want you’

Speaking about their support in an open letter posted on his Twitter account, the star said: ‘The messages I have received have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.

Formula One driver Lando Norris was ‘mugged for his £40,000 watch’ amid chaos after Euro 2020 final 

McLaren driver Lando Norris was reportedly mugged for his £40,000 watch after England lost against Italy

Lando Norris was reportedly mugged for his £40,000 watch after England lost to Italy in the European Championship final. 

Gareth Southgate’s side lost on penalties to the Azzurri at Wembley on Sunday, with Formula One star Norris in attendance. 

The McLaren driver was mugged after the game as he approached his £165,000 McLaren supercar, according to The Sun.

A witness told the Sun: ‘Lando was held and another ­robber pulled off his watch in a split second. Lando looked pretty shaken up. Security had been a nightmare all night.’ 

Following the incident, a McLaren team spokesman said the 21-year-old was ‘understandably shaken’. 

It was also reported that one robber grabbed him and held him still while the other ripped off his valuable Richard Mille timepiece.

‘The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m a 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else, I have that.’

Earlier in the open letter he apologised for his penalty miss against Italy, saying ‘I felt as though I’d let everyone down’.

‘It’s been playing over in my head over and over since and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels,’ he said. ‘Final. 55-years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently.’

The striker also praised his teammates, saying it was the ‘best camps I’ve experienced’ and adding that an ‘unbreakable brotherhood’ had been formed.

He also ended on a positive note, vowing to bounce back from the heartache, saying: ‘For all the kind messages, thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.’ 

It comes as Greater Manchester Police called the defacing of the mural a ‘racially aggravated’ act of vandalism. 

In a statement, GMP slammed the ‘racially aggravated’ and ‘disgraceful’ damage, adding: ‘Hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city.’ The force was alerted at around 2.50am this morning. No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing. 

Chief Superintendent Paul Savill said: ‘This is disgraceful behaviour and will absolutely not be tolerated. Greater Manchester prides itself on being made up from a number of diverse communities, and hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city. 

‘GMP takes crimes of this nature very seriously and an investigation has been launched. If anyone has any information that could help us to identify this offender please do not hesitate to speak to police.’ 

Meanwhile, Harry Kane tonight sent a clear message to those behind the vile racist abuse of England stars in the wake of Sunday’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat by saying: ‘We don’t want you.’

The England skipper condemned the abuse aimed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka as ‘vile’, adding that the players, who were seen visibly distraught after missing penalties in the shoot-out defeat to Italy, ‘deserve support and backing’.

And in a stinging message, he called out those behind the messages, saying they were ‘not England fans’.

In a strongly-worded post on Twitter, the striker said: ‘Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a pen when the stakes were high.

‘They deserve support and backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.’

It comes as England manager Gareth Southgate this morning savaged the abuse of his players as ‘unforgivable’ after they were trolled by racists overnight.

He blasted mindless social media morons who bombarded Saka, Rashford and Sancho with vile slurs.

The England boss hit out after Prince William and the Prime Minister branded the abuse unacceptable and sickening after the defeat.

Southgate said: ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match. It is totally unacceptable that players have had to endure this abhorrent behaviour. I must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.

‘For some of them to be abused is unforgivable really. I know a lot of that has come from abroad, that people who track those things have been able to explain that, but not all of it.

‘It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.

‘We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together.’

Susanna Reid breaks down in tears over ‘hideous’ racism while reading letter football fan, 9, wrote to his hero Marcus Rashford 

By Emer Scully and Niomi Harris For Mailonline 

Susanna Reid broke down in tears on Good Morning Britain today while reading a letter a nine-year-old child wrote to his idol Marcus Rashford after he was hit by a barrage of racist abuse following Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.

The presenter slammed the ‘hideous’ racism the Manchester United star and his England teammates have suffered since their penalty misses during the match against Italy. 

Susanna became emotional as she read out the letter from Dexter Rosier, a Tottenham fan from Reading, this morning. 

Meanwhile, her GMB co-star Andi Peters told how ‘change will come’ as he shared his thoughts on the horrendous racial abuse suffered by Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. 

Rashford took to Twitter on Monday to share letters sent to him by children who hailed him their ‘hero’ after he was left visibly distraught when his penalty hit the post.

It comes as fans covered a mural to the footballer with notes of support following the bombardment of abuse online. 

In scrawled handwriting Dexter called Rashford and his teammates ‘heroes’ and told how he felt ‘inspired’ by Rashford’s political activism – which included campaigning for free school meals during lockdown last summer. 

The latest in the football racism row comes as: 

  • Estate agents Savills launched an investigation over claims a member of staff sent a vile racist message  
  • There was an outpouring of sympathy for Bukayo Saka – a star of the tournament at just 19 – who missed the final penalty;
  • A security inquest came after riot police were brought into London’s West End after thousands of football fans took to the streets; 
  • Facebook – which owns Instagram – said it tried to remove harmful content as quickly as possible;
  • Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden warned social media firms need to up their game or else the new Online Safety Bill would hold them to account;
  • Boris Johnson told the racist abusers: ‘I say shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged’;
  • Zara Tindall ‘wiped blood from Wembley seat’ after husband Mike broke up fight between two England fans in the stands.

Emotional: Susanna Reid broke down in tears on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday while reading a letter a child had written to his Manchester United star Marcus Rashford

It comes as Rashford shared other letters sent to him by children who hailed him their ‘hero’ and as fans covered a mural to the footballer with notes of support

Dexter’s note read: ‘I hope you won’t be sad for too long because you are such a good person.

‘Last year you inspired me to help people less fortunate. Then last night you inspired me again, to always be brave. I’m proud of you. You will always be a hero.’  

Overcome with emotion, Susanna struggled to hold back the tears as she said: ‘I hope Marcus feels everything that’s coming through from this letter and all the messages of support.’ 

As the presenter’s eyes welled up, her co-star Ranvir Singh also sat with tears flowing down her cheeks. 

Turning to her colleague, Susanna said: ‘Ranvir, I mean honestly. It’s hideous.’

Pointing at the letter, Ranvir said: ‘That’s England. It goes to the heart of what we want for our children.

‘My son is talking about the racism he’s faced at school, he’s going to be nine soon.’

Gutted: She slammed the ‘hideous’ racist abuse he (pictured) and his teammates have suffered after their penalty misses during the England Vs Italy game on Sunday

Tears: Overcome with emotion, Susanna struggled to hold back the tears as she said: ‘I hope Marcus feels everything that’s coming through from this letter and all the messages of support’

Emotional: As the presenter cried, her co-star Ranvir Singh also sat with tears flowing down her cheeks

It comes after the three England players to miss penalties in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final were spammed with hideous racist abuse online. 

Rashford, Sancho and Saka’s social media accounts were flooded with monkey emojis and racist abuse following England’s defeat to Italy.

In response Rashford penned a letter which he shared online saying he ‘had a difficult season’ but ‘will never apologise for who I am or where I came from’.

Underneath he attached letters sent to him by children, including Dexter’s, as he was told by an 11-year-old boy to be ‘proud’.

The letter, from a boy named Alfie, added: ‘You may have missed your penalty but you had a brilliant tournament. I admire you and so should the rest of the world.’


Marcus Rashford today said he was ‘close to tears’ after well-wishers covered graffiti sprayed on his Manchester mural with notes of support in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache

A local resident puts love hearts and slogans on the plastic that covers offensive graffiti on the vandalised mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford

Another letter from a young fan advised Rashford to ‘just keep thinking happy thoughts’.

Meanwhile, England star Tyrone Mings last night launched an astonishing broadside at Priti Patel by accusing the Home Secretary of ‘stoking the fire’ of racism by labelling the team’s taking of the knee as ‘gesture politics’.

The Three Lions ace said the Conservative minister had ‘no right’ to condemn the online abuse against fellow stars Rashford, Sancho and Saka. 

Ms Patel described the abuse of England’s stars as ‘disgusting’, as she joined the nationwide condemnation of those behind the messages.

But, replying to the Tweet, the England defender said: ‘You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as “Gesture Politics” and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.’ 

Prior to the tournament, the Home Secretary had said she ‘did not support’ those engaging in ‘that type of gesture politics’ when asked if she supported stars taking the knee

People place messages of support on top of bin liners that were taped over offensive wording on the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington

The Home Secretary had said prior to the tournament that she ‘did not support’ those engaging in ‘that type of gesture politics’, when asked if she supported stars taking the knee.

And she said it was up to fans whether they booed the gesture during England’s Euro 2020 campaign.  

Meanwhile, England captain Harry Kane sent his own message to those behind the vile racist abuse by saying: ‘We don’t want you.’

Rashford yesterday said he was left ‘close to tears’ after well-wishers covered graffiti sprayed on his Manchester mural with loving notes.

The England star, 23, penned an emotional open letter to England fans apologising for his penalty shoot-out miss.

The striker also paid tribute to his supportive teammates and vowed to ‘come back stronger’ after yesterday’s heartbreaking finale to Euro 2020.

But the star – who last night faced a barrage of racist abuse from vile online trolls in the wake of the defeat – reserved a special thank you for those who had stepped in to restore his mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in his home town of Withington.

The painted image was last night defaced, in what is being investigated by police as a possible ‘hate crime’, with derogatory comments about Rashford and included the words ‘sh**e’ and ‘b*****d’. Further graffiti said ‘f**k Sancho’ – a reference to his Three Lions teammate. 

Rashford tweeted letters sent to him by children, including Dexter’s, as he was told by an 11-year-old boy to be ‘proud’

Tory MP’s grovelling apology for criticising England ace Rashford 

A Tory backbencher was forced to backtrack today after a horrific own goal attack on England star Marcus Rashford over his missed Euro 2020 penalty.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke suggested the Manchester United star should have practised spot kicks instead of campaigning for free meals for deprived schoolchildren during lockdown.

She made the remark in a Tory MP WhatsApp group after the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 defeat on penalties to Italy at Wembley last night. 

Manchester United striker Rashford was one of three England players to miss in the deciding shoot-out in the Three Lions’ first major final in 55 years.

In a message first revealed by GB News, Mrs Elphicke told other Tories: ‘They lost – would it be ungenerous to suggest Rashford should have spent more time perfecting his game and less time playing politics.(sic)’ 

But today, after her comments were leaked and widely criticised she took to Twitter to heap praise on the team.

‘Last night I shared the frustration and heartbreak of millions of England fans,’ she said.

‘The team gave their all. Congratulations and onwards to the

However Rashford fans quickly rushed to the site to hide the abusive messages, before placing hearts over the covering.

Speaking about their support in an open letter posted on his Twitter account, the star said: ‘The messages I have received have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.

‘The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m a 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else, I have that.’

Earlier in the open letter he apologised for his penalty miss against Italy, saying ‘I felt as though I’d let everyone down’.

‘It’s been playing over in my head over and over since and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels,’ he said. ‘Final. 55-years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently.’

The striker also praised his teammates, saying it was the ‘best camp I’ve experienced’ and adding that an ‘unbreakable brotherhood’ had been formed.

He also tackled the abuse he had faced, saying he would ‘never apologise’ for being himself, before ending on a positive note by vowing to bounce back from the heartache, saying: ‘For all the kind messages, thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.’ 

 Greater Manchester Police called the defacing of the Rashford mural a ‘racially aggravated’ act of vandalism. 

In a statement, GMP slammed the ‘racially aggravated’ and ‘disgraceful’ damage, adding: ‘Hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city.’ The force was alerted at around 2.50am this morning. No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing. 

Chief Superintendent Paul Savill said: ‘This is disgraceful behaviour and will absolutely not be tolerated. Greater Manchester prides itself on being made up from a number of diverse communities, and hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city. 

Manchester residents are redecorating a mural honouring England footballer Marcus Rashford with hearts and messages calling the player a ‘hero’ and a ‘role model’

Ed Wellard, from Withington, tapes bin liners across offensive wording on the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in Withington

‘GMP takes crimes of this nature very seriously and an investigation has been launched. If anyone has any information that could help us to identify this offender please do not hesitate to speak to police.’ 

The artwork was created by Akse, a French-born graffiti artist, in November 2020. A painting of Rashford appears alongside the phrase: ‘Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose’. 

The Football Association has condemned the ‘disgusting behaviour’ of a small number of mindless social media users who aimed abuse at players in the wake of England’s loss to the Italians.

England manager Gareth Southgate described abuse of Rashford, Sancho and Saka as ‘unforgivable’ after they were targeted by racists. He spoke out after Prince William and Prime Minister Boris Johnson denounced the racist abuse.

A mural honouring England star Marcus Rashford was vandalised less than an hour after last night’s Euro 2020 final defeat

Further graffiti said ‘f**k Sancho’ – a reference to Rashford’s Three Lions teammate Jadon Sancho, who also missed a penalty in the biggest game for England since the 1966 World Cup

Rashford reacts after hitting the post in their team’s third penalty in a penalty shoot-out

Southgate left little doubt of his feelings towards so-called supporters who had fired racist remarks at his team. He said: ‘It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.

‘We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together. It’s my decision who takes the penalties, it’s not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out.’

The Duke of Cambridge said he was ‘sickened’ by the racist abuse and called vile slurs at players ‘totally unacceptable’.

William, who was at the game with his wife Kate Middleton and their seven-year-old son Prince George, called for those behind the messages to be punished.

In a statement, the duke said: ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match. It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.’  

It came as Savills estate agent launched an investigation after claims a member of staff had been behind one of the messages. A spokesperson said: ‘Savills abhors and has zero tolerance to any form of racism and racial discrimination and is appalled by the racist comments in these tweets.

‘Savills is immediately investigating and will take appropriate action.’

Mr Johnson echoed the Football Association’s condemnation of those attacking the players after the team lost to Italy. He said: ‘This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media. Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves. 


Wording on the vandalised mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford

The mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in Withington, south Manchester, was defaced with derogatory comments about Rashford including the words ‘sh**e’ and ‘b*****d’

Estate agents Savills said it was investigating if a member of staff posted a vile tweet aimed at the England players

The Metropolitan Police confirmed they will be investigating the abuse


Another user wrote, ‘Foreigners are stupid,’ seemingly choosing to ignore that Saka was born in Ealing, west London

Home Secretary Priti Patel also headed up figures slamming the racists.

She said: ‘Players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media. It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.’

It came as police began hunting the racists behind some of the vile social media posts.

The horrific comments, including the use of monkey emojis and racist language such as n****r , have led to the FA condemning its racist fans and saying they are not ‘welcome in following in the team’ and the Metropolitan Police has confirmed its officers will be investigating. 

While thousands rallied to support the players, especially Saka, who lit up the tournament for England at the age of just 19.

Calling on those behind the abuse to face arrest and prosecution, one fan said: ‘I’ll take these three Englishmen over any racist-moron-fake-fan every day of the week and twice on a Sunday’.

Another wrote: ‘I stand with Rashford. I stand with Sancho. I stand with Saka. I stand with a whole team of brilliant men who made us all proud & represent the best this country has to offer I reject everything about the Racists & Shape Shifters who represent the worst’.

Racist social media users instantly took to the accounts of the three black players who missed penalties in last night’s clash against Italy.

The players’ Instagram and Twitter feeds were subjected to a barrage of racist imagery including monkey and banana emojis, as well as written comments packed with horrifying slurs.  

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka, 19: ‘Go back to Nigeria.’ While another said: ‘Get out my country.’ And another wrote: ‘Take banana n****r.’  And another, seemingly in support of the Italians, said: ‘It’s coming Rome!!! F****** n****r.’ Another user wrote, ‘Foreigners are stupid,’ seemingly choosing to ignore that Saka was born in Ealing, west London. 

In response to the deluge of racist comments and FA spokesman made it clear that racists are not wanted in football.  


A spokesman said: ‘The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media’

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

A spokesman said: ‘The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media.

‘We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.

‘We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences. 

‘Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.’ 

And the Metropolitan Police confirmed they will be investigating the abuse and said: ‘We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final. 

‘This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.’

England players have taken the knee to support anti-racism drives throughout the tournament, a move that has drawn vocal criticism and boos from a section of their support. 

In turn the FA and senior players have attacked the boo-boys in the stands, stating their actions are precisely why the team feels a need to make a stand against racism. England lost the penalty shootout 3-2 after the match finished 1-1 after extra time.

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