Conservative MPs have called for the sacking of BBC football presenter Gary Lineker after he compared the government’s migration policy to Nazi Germany. The Match of The Day host commented on Twitter in response to a video of Suella Braverman, in which she unveiled plans to stop the surge of migrants crossing the Channel.
The BBC host, who is said to be the highest paid presenter at the corporation, tweeted in response to the video by the Home Secretary: “Good heavens, this is beyond awful.” Someone then accused him of being “out of order”, claiming that the communities are already “feeling unsafe” and “devastated” by the influx.
He responded: “There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?”
His comments have since angered Tory MPs with Craig Mackinlay, saying they were a “step too far” and suggested BBC sack Lineker, while Jonathan Gullis urged the broadcaster to “stand up” to the presenter and “remind him his job is to talk football, not politics.”
According to The Telegraph, BBC managers were said to be ‘furious’ about Lineker’s latest comments after he was told by Tim Davie, the director general, to stay away from politics last year. Sources told the daily that he would be “spoken to.”
However, the sources declined to say whether this would be a final warning, but one told the paper: “We all know that Gary can be cheeky, but this one is serious. We are taking it extremely seriously and we are going to have a very frank conversation with him.”
Despite the outrage, Lineker’s tweet has since been viewed over 8.7 million times and received over 40,000 likes. On Tuesday, Braverman announced a major crackdown on illegal immigration which will see all migrants who cross the Channel on small boats barred from claiming asylum in the UK, removed from the country and never allowed to return.
Ministers have acknowledged the Bill may be deemed to go against the European Convention on Human Rights, but have said they are willing to fight the point in the courts. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also warned lawyers preparing to challenge the crackdown that he is “up for the fight and will win.”