Outspoken BBC star Gary Lineker is accused of going on ‘self-congratulatory fest’ to Italy to collect human rights award after his Nazi tweet jibe over Suella Braverman’s migrant crackdown
- Match Of The Day presenter taken off air in March after row over his ‘Nazi’ tweet
Outspoken BBC star Gary Lineker has been accused of going on a ‘self-congratulatory fest’ to Italy to collect a human rights award after his Nazi jibe at home secretary Suella Braverman.
The Match Of The Day presenter was taken off air in March after refusing to back down after comparing the Government’s language on asylum seekers to 1930s Germany.
It sparked a major crisis for the BBC and a humiliating climbdown as Lineker agreed a deal which allowed him to tweet about refugees and climate change.
And now the corporation is facing yet another headache from its highest-paid star after it was revealed that he would attend an award ceremony hosted by Amnesty International in Rome tomorrow.
He will be presented with a ‘sport and human rights award’ by the organisation, which described him as a ‘staunch advocate for the rights of refugees and migrants’.
The Match Of The Day presenter was hauled off air in March after refusing to back down after comparing the Government’s language on asylum seekers to 1930s Germany
And now the corporation is facing yet another headache from its highest-paid star after it was revealed that he would attend an award ceremony hosted by Amnesty International in Rome on Wednesday
Lineker’s inflammatory tweet comparing ministers’ language over migration to ‘Germany in the 30s’
He will receive his award alongside Palestinian footballer Natali Shaheen.
However, Lineker, 62, will be soaking up praise for his championing of refugees in a country led by prime minister Giorgia Meloni who has warned of ‘an invasion’ of migrants and refugees.
Earlier this year, she unveiled new policies toughening the country’s approach to migrants seeking asylum and introducing harsher punishments for people smugglers.
READ MORE: Now Gary Lineker gloats that BBC bosses ‘backed down and admitted being wrong’ for booting him off air over ‘Nazi’ tweet – as star reignites asylum row by calling his smear ‘factually accurate’
Amnesty International, a human rights organisation, has previously called for Lineker to be allowed to speak his mind on refugees, despite his interventions persistently leading to the BBC being accused of bias.
Last night, the former England striker faced a backlash from Tory MPs who urged him to reconsider his position at the BBC. Craig Mackinlay said: ‘It is another self-congratulatory fest of one woke group to another woke activist.’
And Gareth Johnson said: ‘Gary Lineker needs to decide if he wants to be a politician or a public broadcaster. He can’t do both.’
Sir John Hayes, chairman of the common sense group of MPs, added: ‘This award is a matter of regret, but also rather pathetic.
‘Perhaps it is time for Gary to hang up his microphone as he did his boots long ago.’
Amnesty International said its ‘sport and human rights award’, now in its fifth year, is part of a collaboration between the group and the Italian organisation Sport4Society.
Ms Braverman said she felt that Mr Lineker’s comments were ‘disappointing’
The award is designed to ‘highlight outstanding contributions to human rights in the field of sport’.
Earlier this year, Lineker, – who earns £1.35million a year from the BBC – sent a tweet in response to the Government’s Bill stopping migrants arriving across the Channel in small boats from being able to claim asylum.
He said the policy used ‘language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s’.
Lineker was taken off air but after other presenters also refused to appear on football shows in solidarity, he was allowed to return. The BBC last night declined to comment.
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