Andrew Marr: Lets focus more on the UK's broken childcare system and less on Gary Lineker

9 March 2023, 18:19 | Updated: 9 March 2023, 23:02

Andrew Marr: Most of the media is 'utterly gripped' by Lineker's tweet

Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

There are more important issues that need to be discussed by journalists than the row over Gary Lineker comparing the UK government to 1930s Germany, Andrew Marr has said.

Speaking on LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, the presenter said a number of important topics have been largely ignored by the media, including the economy and the UK's childcare system in the wake of the row over Mr Lineker.

The veteran football presenter sparked a storm by comparing the government’s new policy on migrants to language used in 1930s Germany.

This, Andrew says, has gripped the media more than it should have.

"You know there are some days when I just honestly have to throw my hands and confess that I don't understand anymore. I don't get it," Andrew started.

"Most of the media seems utterly gripped by whether or not what a sports commentator should have tweeted something rude about the government, rather than by the effect of the new migrant policy, or human slavery, or little things like whether or not we really going to get economic growth to the point where we can actually pay food and energy bills.

"Piddling stuff by comparison with Saint, or Sinner, Gary Lineker. It just seems to me that the news has taken leave of its senses."

Gary Lineker's comments provoked a furious backlash among some Tory MPs
Gary Lineker's comments provoked a furious backlash among some Tory MPs. Picture: Getty

Watch Tonight with Andrew Marr exclusively on Global Player every Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 7pm

Andrew continued: "It needs to be spoken softly to, then led gently by the hand and to rest home and put down.

"No, with a sense of weary inevitability we will talk about the gentleman with the bristly grin and the substantial bank account in due course.

"But as I understand my job it's to bring you you each day my judgement about what really matters. And so today, before anything else, I really want to talk about childcare."

He went on to say that the UK's childcare system is "broken" and "costs too much".

"There are too many places where it simply isn't available," Andrew said.

"Researchers reckon that at least a million women in this country who want to get back to work, earn money, pay tax and help get the economy going, can't do it because of the cost of childcare here."

Read More: Lack of childcare costs UK £27bn a year, report finds, as ex-children's commissioner urges government to invest

It comes after survey by the think tank Centre for Progressive Policy found that more than half of the mothers they surveyed said they had struggled to find suitable childcare.

A quarter, equivalent to one and a half million mothers in the real world, said if they had access to suitable childcare they would work more hours.

The research estimated that this would result in an increase in economic output of £27 billion per year, or 1% of GDP.

Andrew finished: "Labour has been banging on about it's childcare plans today day and with the budget just ahead, many Tories are hoping the Chancellor will turn his attention to this really serious national problem."