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Gary Lineker to be ‘spoken to’ over asylum comments


Match of the Day host Gary Lineker will be “spoken to” after he tweeted critically about the government’s asylum policy, the BBC has said.

Writing on Twitter, the former England star said the language in which the plans had been set out was “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s.”

Lineker also linked to a video of Home Secretary Suella Braverman talking about her new plans to stop small boat crossings by denying illegal immigrants the right to claim asylum or ever return to the UK to ease the “overwhelmed” asylum system, describing them as “awful.”

A BBC spokesperson said the star would be “reminded of his responsibilities”. Braverman, who set out the controversial policy yesterday, said she was “disappointed “by Lineker’s comments. The immigration minister Robert Jenrick, meanwhile, told Times Radio: “My children are the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and I think those sorts of words should not be thrown around lightly. Gary Lineker is paid for by the British taxpayer and it is disappointing that he is so far out of step with the British public.”

As a sports presenter, Lineker is not bound by the strict social media policies of BBC news and current affairs staff, but the BBC has confirmed that director general Tim Davie has discussed the issue of his comments in the past. In October, the BBC’s complaints unit found Lineker had broken impartiality rules in a tweet asking whether the Conservative Party planned to “hand back their donations from Russian donors.” Lineker remained defiant on Wednesday, taking to Twitter once again to promise to keep speaking up for those with “no voice.”  


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