Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 31 May 2024

Now Tories insist England stars will NOT be exempt from national service duty under Conservative plans to make 18-year-olds join the Army – ‘because they’re extremely highly paid people with long off seasons’


The Conservatives have insisted that footballers will not be exempt from national service due to their high wages and long breaks between seasons, less than 24 hours after a senior Cabinet member said they would be.

A Tory source told MailOnline being a professional footballer is ‘not an exemption’, adding: ‘They are extremely highly paid people with long off seasons. There would not be an exemption for people like that.’

It comes after Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride yesterday said England’s footballers would ‘absolutely’ be exempt from the scheme.

Last weekend Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced he will bring back national service if re-elected, meaning every 18-year-old would face a year in the Armed Forces or 12 weekends of volunteering for services such as the NHS or police.

It was previously reported that only very limited exemptions would be in place, and that even the royal family would have to take part.

After a report in the Sun that footballers could be exempt, Mr Stride was pressed on whether this was true, and said: ‘Yes, absolutely’.

A senior Tory source said national service, which has not been in place in the UK since 1960, was ‘flexible’ and did not need to be weekends.

They added Mr Stride was speaking ‘in general terms’ but being a professional footballer ‘is not an exemption’.

The clarification means that England stars including Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Marcus Rashford would all have missed vital tournaments.

Rooney was just 18 when he scored four times at the 2004 Euros championship.

Meanwhile Owen was 18 when he scored twice at the 1998 World Cup.

Rashford was just 18 when he was called up in England’s 2016 Euros squad, and Luke Shaw was the same age at the 2014 World Cup.

The policy, which would have seen all these players miss out on selection if in place in their heyday, has divided the country, but is supported by two thirds of MailOnline readers, a poll showed.

It came as Labour is embroiled in a row over whether MP Diane Abbott will be selected to run for the party in the election on July 4.

Ms Abbott had been suspended from the party amid an investigation into comments she made in a letter to The Observer, in which she compared anti-Semitism to prejudice experienced by Irish and ginger people.

After being readmitted to the party, there was confusion after she told a BBC journalist she had been barred from standing – something both Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner have denied.

Uncertainty about Ms Abbott’s fate, the suspension of Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who was MP for Brighton Kemptown and the decision not to endorse candidate Faiza Shaheen in Chingford and Woodford Green has led to complaints that Sir Keir and his allies are carrying out a ‘cull’ of the Labour left.

Ms Rayner denied that the party was undergoing a ‘purge’ in an interview with the Guardian today.

And on Thursday data revealed a large spike in voter applications since the election was announced.

Read More: Now Tories insist England stars will NOT be exempt from national service duty under Conservative plans to make 18-year-olds join the Army

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