Popular BBC presenter Gary Lineker has broken his silence after he was attacked for his remark on Twitter overnight, which likened the government’s latest migration policy aimed at stopping the surge of migrants crossing the Channel to that of Germany in the 30s.
The Match of the Day host took to Twitter last night as he responded to a video of Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, explaining in detail the ‘Stop the Boats’ or Illegal Migration Bill in the government’s effort to end illegal entry as a route to asylum in the UK.
Lineker commented: “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.”
The broadcaster also reportedly said Lineker would be “spoken to” as they were taking the matter “extremely seriously.” However, on Wednesday morning (March 8), Lineker appeared unfazed by the attack and consequences that his action may incur as his fans and followers flooded his Twitter with words of support.
He first tweeted: “Morning all, anything going on?”, which is followed by another tweet: “Great to see the freedom of speech champions out in force this morning demanding silence from those with whom they disagree.”
Lineker then went on to thank his followers for standing up for him amid the backlash he received. He added: “I have never known such love and support in my life than I’m getting this morning (England World Cup goals aside, possibly).
“I want to thank each and every one of you. It means a lot. I’ll continue to try and speak up for those poor souls that have no voice.” His tweets have since received mixed response from his followers, but majority of them supported his action.
Popular band Reverend and The Makers said: “Keep going pal. You’re spot on with what you’ve said x.” Another tweeted: “I don’t care if you like Gary Lineker or not. The point he makes is important. Whichever side of the platform you speak your views from.”