Tory MPs have fumed at Gary Lineker and urged the BBC to sack the presenter after he compared the government’s new migration policy to the tactics of Nazi Germant. Retweeting a video from the Home Office featuring Suella Braverman, Lineker wrote: “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?” Tories have reacted with fury, with Craig Mackinlay branding his comments a “step too far” and calling on the BBC to sack him over the remarks.
It comes after Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, announced a new Illegal Migration Bill.
She said: “The Prime Minister and I have been working flat-out for months to bring this legislation to Parliament. This Bill will mean that if you come here illegally, you will not be able to stay.
“You will be detained and removed to your home country if safe or a safe third country like Rwanda. We are committed to helping those in need, like the hundreds of thousands of people we have supported from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong in recent years.
“But it’s not fair that people who travel through a string of safe countries and then come to the UK illegally can jump the queue and game our system. This Bill will bring an end to that. Enough is enough. We must stop the boats.”
The BBC’s guidance says of its high-profile stars: “We expect these individuals to avoid taking sides on party political issues.”
A BBC spokesman said: “Individuals who work for us are aware of their responsibilities relating to social media. We have appropriate internal processes in place if required.”
One Twitter user hit out at Lineker saying he should use his “$35million on housing for the refugees or shut up”.
Another said: “How many of these migrants have been housed in your local area Gary? It’s all very well virtue signalling from your wealthy bubble but try and understand how others are being adversely affected by the influx of 100s of mainly young men being brought into their small communities.”
The home secretary told MPs it was time to stop the UK being “taken for a ride” and the need for reform was “urgent”.
Under the law, those entering the UK via illegal routes will be removed and blocked from returning. There will also be a cap on the numbers granted asylum.