Gary Lineker needs to study the history books, Foreign Secretary says after football pundit's criticism of migrant plan

10 March 2023, 09:18

Gary Lineker needs to study the history books, Foreign Secretary says after football pundit's critic

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has suggested Gary Lineker needs to study the "history books" after comparing language around the Government's asylum policy to 1930s Germany.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast Mr Cleverly said: "There are some people desperate to gain attention by using deeply offensive and inappropriate language about this and I would gently suggest they use their history books a little bit more carefully."

The conversation comes after the sports pundit was at the the centre of an impartiality row after criticising the Government's "cruel" plans to tackle small boat crossings of the Channel.

He also compared the language surrounding the immigration plans with 1930s Germany.

Read more: Sunak to use Macron meeting to push for France to 'go further' in stopping migrants crossing English Channel

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she found the comments "offensive" because her husband is Jewish.

"My children are therefore directly descendant from people who were murdered in gas chambers during the Holocaust, she said.

"To kind of throw out those kind of flippant analogies diminishes the unspeakable tragedy that millions of people went through and I don't think anything that is happening in the UK today can come close to what happened in the Holocaust.

"So I find it a lazy and unhelpful comparison to make."

Read More: What are Rishi Sunak's new immigration laws?

Read more: Gary Lineker sparks fury among Tory MPs after comparing migrant crackdown to Nazi Germany

Mr Lineker said he looked forward to presenting Match Of The Day this weekend despite the "ridiculously out of proportion story" surrounding his comments.

Criticising the asylum plan earlier this week, he tweeted: "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."

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