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Tory MP Natalie Elphicke forced into groveling climbdown after attack on England ace Marcus Rashford

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Tory MP Natalie Elphicke forced into groveling climbdown after saying England ace Marcus Rashford should have practiced taking penalties instead of ‘playing politics’ by campaigning for free school meals for poor pupils in lockdown

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 practiced 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 World Cup!’

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

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

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)'

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.

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

Labour Manchester MP Barbara Keeley said: ‘Marcus Rashford campaigned for millions of children last year ensuring they were not left hungry by this Tory Govt during the pandemic. 

‘He is a great ambassador for our country on & off the pitch. People in Greater Manchester & across the country are very proud of him.’

One Tory MP told MailOnline there were about 200 MPs on the group Ms Elphicke posted to.

‘It might have been something that many people might have been thinking, but probably best not to go there. It is pretty depressing that we can’t have conversations among ourselves,’ they said.

Ms Elphicke, a 50 year-old mother-of-two, has been MP for Dover since 2019, when she replaced her now ex-husband, Charlie, who was jailed last year for three sex attacks on two women.

Rashford was made an MBE in October last year in recognition of his work in feeding underprivileged children, which included forcing Boris Johnson into a U-turn over providing free school meal vouchers for 1.3million kids during the summer holidays.

Rashford was made an MBE in October last year in recognition of his work in feeding underprivileged children, which included forcing Boris Johnson into a U-turn over providing free school meal vouchers for 1.3million kids during the summer holidays.

Rashford was made an MBE in October last year in recognition of his work in feeding underprivileged children, which included forcing Boris Johnson into a U-turn over providing free school meal vouchers for 1.3million kids during the summer holidays.

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