Theresa May ‘too nervous’ to watch England World Cup penalty shoot-out against Colombia

Theresa May left the room during England’s World Cup penalty shootout last night because she was too nervous to watch, it has emerged.

A Downing Street spokesperson told the Standard that the shootout, which England came from behind to win, “made her feel uncomfortable”.

But she did catch most of the tense last-16 clash against Colombia, which saw Harry Kane open the scoring before a 93rd minute equaliser led to penalties.

Today, she led the House of Commons in praising England’s “rare and welcome” penalty victory as she wished the team luck following a dramatic match against Colombia.

Congratulations: Theresa May smiles as she praises the England players during Prime Minister’s Questions (PA)

The country basked in the glory of Gareth Southgate’s men winning a penalty shoot-out against the South American team on Tuesday night, propelling them into the next round of the tournament. 

The streets were echoing with football chants and the internet was awash with ‘it’s coming home’ memes as supporters enjoyed a rare victory for the Three Lions.

And it seemed that Parliament wasn’t immune from the football fever gripping the nation.

Speaking during her weekly Prime Minister’s Questions address, Mrs May said: “Mr Speaker the country witnessed a very rare and welcome event last night – the England football team winning a penalty shoot-out.”

Amid cheers and laughter from the house, she continued: “Can I say I think the explosion of relief and, most of all, joy could be felt up and down the country – not just in the smoking room of the House of Commons. 

“And I want to congratulate Gareth Southgate and his team on a great performance.”

Victory: England’s players celebrate after defeating Colombia in a penalty shoot out (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

She continued: “Last week I promised to fly the flag of St Georges above number ten for all of England’s remaining matches in the World Cup.

“And I know the whole house will want to join me in wishing England he best of luck in Saturday’s quarter final – let’s keep that flag flying.”

May: The PM urged the boys to ‘keep the flag flying’ in a Tweet (EPA)

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock also revealed that MPs were watching the England v Colombia match as they voted in the House of Commons on Tuesday night.

MPs had to troop through the voting lobbies several times during the match after the Scottish National Party forced a series of votes.

England v Colombia: The best reactions

But, speaking on a webcast for Politico, Mr Hancock revealed that football-mad MPs made sure they did not miss too much of the action.

“We were going through the voting lobbies watching the match on phones, so I was voting to fund the NHS next year and watching the football at the same time,” said Mr Hancock, who suggested the SNP may have forced the votes because they were upset that Scotland did not reach the World Cup finals.

England fans celebrate their team scoring the opening goal as they watch the FIFA World Cup 2018 Round of 16 match between England and Colombia (EPA)

England, who will play Sweden on Saturday, are now joint second favourites alongside France to win the tournament at just 4/1, according bookmakers Ladbrokes.

Brazil remain favourites at 11/4, while Harry Kane is odds-on at 1/4 to bring home the coveted Golden Boot.


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