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Gary Lineker to be spoken to by BBC after comparing UK asylum policy to Nazi Germany



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The Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker will be spoken to by the BBC after comments he made on social media about the government’s immigration plans in which he appeared to compare Home Office policy to Nazi Germany.

A number of Conservative MPs have expressed anger after he criticised the policy and the language used to introduce it, the BBC reported.

Lineker’s response to a video message by the home secretary, Suella Braverman, about stopping migrant boats was: “Good heavens, this is beyond awful.”

When challenged by someone on Twitter, the presenter defended his comments, saying: “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?”

The BBC reported that while Lineker was not bound by the strict social media policies of BBC news and current affairs staff, the director general, Tim Davie, had discussed the issue of his comments in the past and it was understood he would be reminded of his responsibilities.

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

The immigration minister Robert Jenrick 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.

“They see people dying, literally, in the English Channel at the behest of some of the most evil criminal gangs we see in the world today, and they want the government to take action. That’s exactly what we intend to do.”

The deputy chair of the Conservative party, Lee Anderson, wrote on Facebook: “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.”

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A spokesperson for the corporation told the Daily Telegraph: “The BBC has social media guidance, which is published. Individuals who work for us are aware of their responsibilities relating to social media. We have appropriate internal processes in place if required.”

Last year Davie described cracking down on Lineker’s politicised tweeting as a “work in progress”.

The director general told MPs on the digital, culture, media and sport committee that a distinction needed to be drawn between those working in news and current affairs , and those such as Lineker who worked in other areas. He said: “I’ve talked to Gary and he has sent thousands of tweets, and I think overall he is in a lot better state.”

Davie added: “Overall the conversation goes on … It is a work in progress in terms of where he draws the line. We have had a conversation and I think he understands the guidelines.”

Gary Lineker to be spoken to by BBC after comparing UK asylum policy to Nazi Germany

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