The Daily Telegraph

Own goal by ex-minister who used football to put boot in

- By Genevieve Holl-allen

A FORMER Cabinet minister has appeared to criticise Rishi Sunak’s latest reshuffle with a clumsy football analogy, as the Conservati­ve party issued updates in the style of transfer news.

Sir Simon Clarke, the former business secretary, shared a post by BBC Sport announcing that Raheem Sterling has not been selected for the latest England squad, and wrote that there had been some “controvers­ial choices” made.

Sir Simon, an ally of Liz Truss, wrote on Twitter: “Some controvers­ial choices here from the manager, putting it very mildly. Never wise to lack options on the right wing – the squad risks being badly unbalanced.”

The tweet appeared to be a thinly veiled criticism of Mr Sunak’s latest political moves, including sacking Suella Braverman as home secretary.

There was some criticism from those to the right of the Tory Party after the reshuffle, which saw Ms Braverman removed and former prime minister Lord Cameron appointed as Foreign Secretary to replace James Cleverly, the new Home Secretary. In a response to Sir Simon’s comments, one follower said that the “soccer ball” had gone “slightly over [his] head”, to which the Tory MP shared a clip of Bart Simpson writing: “The good humour man can only be pushed so far.”

Twitter users pointed out to Sir Simon that his analogy was inaccurate, as Stirling actually played on the left.

Conservati­ve Party HQ had deployed several transfer phrases when announcing the latest appointmen­ts.

When announcing the start of the Prime Minister’s reshuffle, the Tory Party tweeted “here we go”, in reference to the trademark phrase by football transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano.

The Italian sports journalist, who uses the phrase to confirm a deal has been agreed and a signing is to be announced, replied to the Conservati­ves’ tweet with a shocked emoji.

Other transfer window language used by Tory Party HQ throughout reshuffle day included “agreement reached” and “huge move” when announcing the appointmen­ts of Laura Trott as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and James Cleverly as Home Secretary.

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