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08th Mar 2023

Gary Lineker breaks his silence following backlash over Illegal Immigration Bill tweet

Jack Peat

The pundit hit out at so-called “free speech champions” after he was reprimanded by the BBC

Gary Lineker has responded after a tweet he posted comparing Home Office policy to Nazi Germany sparked backlash online.

The Match Of The Day host will be “reminded of his responsibilities on social media” by the BBC following a tweet reply he sent on Tuesday, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Lineker commented on a Twitter video put out by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, in which she unveiled government plans to stop migrant boats crossing the Channel.

“Good heavens, this is beyond awful,” he wrote.

Responding to the sports broadcaster, another Twitter user described his comment as “out of order”, adding that it was “easy to pontificate when it doesn’t affect you”.

Lineker 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 were widely condemned by Tory politicians, who urged the BBC to take action.

Tory party deputy chairman Lee Anderson wrote: “This is just another example of how out of touch these overpaid stars are with the voting public.

“Instead of lecturing, Mr Lineker should stick to reading out the football scores and flogging crisps.”

The Daily Mail also expressed their disapproval with this front-page splash.

But Lineker has doubled down the comments, tweeting this morning:

“Great to see the freedom of speech champions out in force this morning demanding silence from those with whom they disagree.”

He then compared the love he got for his response to scoring for England in the World Cup.

“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.”

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