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14th Mar 2023

Nigel Farage accuses Gary Lineker of spreading hate

Jack Peat

Nigel farage accuses Gary Lineker of spreading hate

The former UKIPer called on Lineker to apologise for his remarks

Nigel Farage has hit out at Gary Lineker for (and we quote) “spreading hate” after the Match of the Day presenter compared the language used to launch a new Government asylum seeker policy to that of 1930s Germany.

Lineker has been at the centre of a controversy in the recent days after he criticised the government’s policy on small boat Channel crossings, which lead to him being removed from Match of the Day hosting duties.

After he refused to make an apologetic statement on the show regarding his comments, the BBC made the decision to remove him from Match of the Day.

Following the announcement, a slew of Match of the Day pundits and football journalists across the BBC pulled out of their duties on Saturday.

As a result, the BBC’s football coverage over the weekend was severely disrupted.

Responding to the mass walk-out of BBC presenters at the weekend, Farage accused Lineker of “spreading hate” and said the Match of the Day host “should apologise.”

The irony of these comments coming from Farage was not lost on many, and needless to say, the reaction has been pretty fierce.

Last night, the Illegal Immigration Bill was voted through on the second reading after MPs voted in favour of it by 312 votes to 250.

This was the piece of legislation that Lineker had compared to “Germany in the 30s.”

The home secretary, Suella Braverman, linked asylum seekers to criminality during the debate, while another MP repeated the false claim that 100 million people could make the way to British shores, saying: “We simply can’t accept 100s of millions of people. This country is nearly full.”

On Monday, the BBC announced Lineker would be back for the broadcaster’s coverage of the FA Cup this weekend, with General Director Tim Davie apologising to the former footballer and the public for the disruption to the BBC’s football coverage over the weekend.

In a thread on Twitter, Lineker thanked the public and BBC colleagues for their support in recent days, before voicing his empathy for refugees who cross the Channel on small boats to make it to the UK.

He wrote: “A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you.”

He finished by saying: “We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you.”

Related links:

BBC urged to explain why Gary Lineker is ‘restrained but Alan Sugar seems not to be’

ITV prepared to ‘triple’ Gary Lineker’s wages to lure him away from the BBC

Gary Lineker ‘cried’ after public support from Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, son reveals