Gary Lineker is defended by Labour’s shadow communities secretary over ‘Nazi’ tweet – as she breaks ranks from front bench party chiefs’ views
Labour frontbencher Lisa Nandy has claimed that Gary Lineker was not referring to the Nazis in his controversial migrant tweets.
The Match Of The Day presenter, 62, recently plunged the BBC into a civil war between its talent and management over an impartiality row.
Commenting on the Government’s new Illegal Migration Bill, Lineker branded the small boats announcement as an ‘immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s’.
However, Ms Nandy – the Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – has argued that he was not likening the Government to the Nazis.
‘What people say Gary Lineker said is very different from what Gary Lineker actually said’, she told Sky News.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy speaks at a Labour Party annual conference in Liverpool
Gary Lineker at the Etihad Stadium yesterday where he made his return to television for the first time since his impartiality row with the BBC over controversial migrant tweets
Protestors wear Gary Lineker masks during a Stand Up To Racism protest at George Square in Glasgow
‘The Government has been keen to say he’s been likening this to the Nazis, he wasn’t – and I would have utterly condemned that had he done so – I don’t think he would have done so.
‘What he was pointing to was a chilling comparison with an environment in which people aren’t free to be able to challenge this sort of language and behaviour.’
Ms Nandy’s views differed from that of her fellow front-bench Labour colleagues.
Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry insisted that she would not have used the same words as Lineker and described them as ‘really very unfortunate’.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, also stated that she did not think what Lineker said was right.
The former England footballer made his return back on our screens yesterday to present the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Mark Chapman presented the Match Of The Day highlights on Saturday night.
Lineker was also recently spotted partying with celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Mary Charteris at the launch of a new private members’ club amid the scandal surrounding his controversial tweets.
Early on Saturday morning protesters wore masks of Lineker’s face at a pro-refugee march in Glasgow.
Crowds descended on the Scottish city with placards reading ‘refugees welcome’ and ‘stop Rwanda’, a reference to Suella Braverman’s policy to deport people arriving in the UK illegally in small boats to the African country.
The Home Secretary doubled down on the controversial government migrant policy yesterday by making her first visit to Rwanda since taking the cabinet role.
Ms Braverman said the plan ‘will act as a powerful deterrent against dangerous and illegal journeys’.
The minister also hit back at critics of the deal, saying Rwanda can hold ‘many thousands’ of migrants – although none have yet been relocated.