Cult footballer, TV presenter and Twitter icon Gary Lineker is a major critic of the Conservative government in Britain. In a tweet he attacks the new asylum law and chooses a Nazi comparison. That gets him into a lot of trouble. A politician calls for the BBC to be fired.
The BBC has reprimanded its iconic football presenter Gary Lineker for comparing British refugee policy with Nazi Germany. The former England international will be "reminded of his responsibility," said the public broadcaster that night. Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay told the Telegraph newspaper that Lineker's comment was "lazy, ill-conceived and shameful". The BBC must fire the 62-year-old.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Lineker described the conservative British government's new asylum law as "more than terrible". When criticized that he was "out of order", he replied: "This is an immeasurably cruel policy, directed against the most vulnerable people, in a language that is that of Germany in the 1930's, and I'm not entirely out of my mind?"
The British government wants to first hold migrants who enter the country without official permission in shelters and then expel them to Rwanda or other countries. The right to apply for asylum should be taken away from them. The plans could violate the European Convention on Human Rights. Interior Minister Suella Braverman had spoken of an "invasion" in view of the increasing number of people entering the country via the English Channel.
The BBC is committed to clear neutrality. Lineker, who has around 8.6 million followers on Twitter, has repeatedly criticized the Conservative government. The ex-forward is the highest-paid BBC presenter with a base salary of £1.35m (€1.51m).