The Prime Minister watched the World Cup Final in a pub in Northallerton, he has revealed.
Rishi Sunak has come in for criticism for not attending the final in Sydney, Australia, where England’s lionesses were defeated by Spain 1-0.
Asked today (Monday) if he should have attended the match, the Prime Minister told broadcasters: “Like many others, I watched the game in the pub locally in Northallerton at home.
“I’d like nothing more than to be able to watch England play around the world. I love football. I love sport. I love cheering on England.
“Sadly I wasn’t able to go to the World Cup in Qatar last year. I wasn’t able to go to this final but as I said, I enjoyed watching it in the pub with friends and constituents in Northallerton.”
Talking during a visit to a nursery in Harrogate, the PM and Richmondshire MP added: “I think we’re all being incredibly proud about what the lionesses have achieved and what an incredible set of memories we’ve all got.
“And even though we didn’t get the result we wanted yesterday, their legacy is completely secure. I mean, what an incredible achievement, inspired a whole generation of youngsters and something that we can all be very proud of.”
Earlier, education minister Claire Coutinho was asked on Sky News whether Rishi Sunak and the Prince of Wales’s absence from the final at Stadium Australia on Sunday suggested they are just paying lip service to the women’s game.
She said: “No, I don’t think so. So the Foreign Secretary was there and the DCMS Secretary was also there. This Government was represented.”
Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat trick in the 1966 World Cup Final to secure England’s only success in the tournament, said a member of the royal family “should definitely” have attended yesterday’s final.
Asked if a member of the royal family not attending was a mistake, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Yes, I do.
“I think if the royals attend the men’s game, they should definitely.
“It’s an English team, a World Cup tournament, a member of the royal family should definitely have gone.
“No argument at all about that.”