England footballer Marcus Rashford has defended himself after an article claimed he has “ploughed” his earnings into property investment.
The article by the Daily Mail, published on Saturday, claims Rashford used his earnings to buy “luxury homes” and “splashed out” on a golf course.
In response, Rashford tweeted: “Ok, so let’s address this. I’m 23. I came from little. I need to protect not just my future but my family’s too.
“To do that I made a decision at the beg [beginning] of 2020 to start investing more in property.”
He added: “Please don’t run stories like this alongside refs to ‘campaigning’.”
The article has sparked a backlash on social media, with many people tweeting in support of Rashford, who was recently awarded an MBE for his campaign work to provide free school meals to disadvantaged children during the holidays.
The money will pay for the Covid Winter Grant Scheme to support families over the season while the Holiday Activities and Food programme will be extended to cover the Easter, summer and Christmas breaks in 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said.
The policy reversal took place after the government last month whipped Conservative MPs to vote against a Labour motion in the House of Commons calling for the extension of free school meal provision following Rashford’s campaign.
Businesses and councils across the country stepped into the breach following the result, announcing they would fund meals during the October half-term for those who needed them.
The striker’s petition for pupils in disadvantaged families to have their meals paid for during the holidays went on to attract more than one million signatures – mass backing which piled pressure on Downing Street to commit to more support.
The DWP confirmed the £170 million worth of winter grants would be administered by councils in England rather than schools.
The funding will be ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to support with food and bills, and will cover until the end of March.