Gary Lineker to get BBC dressing down after appearing to compare UK 'migrant bill' to Nazi Germany

Gary Lineker to get BBC dressing down after appearing to compare UK 'migrant bill' to Nazi Germany
BBC presenter Gary Lineker is set to have a 'frank conversation' with his BBC bosses after a series of tweets in which he said the UK 'migrant bill' used language similar to 'that used by Germany in the 30s'.
2 min read
09 March, 2023
'Great to see the freedom of speech champions out in force this morning,' said Lineker [Getty]

Top BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker will be given a dressing down by his broadcasting bosses after a series of tweets in which he appeared to compare the UK government's "migrant bill" to Nazi Germany. 

The former footballer on Tuesday slammed proposed legislation that could see anyone arriving in a small boat to UK shores detained and deported, even if they had a legitimate asylum claim under international law. 

In a Twitter spat with UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman, the 62-year-old BBC presenter called the policy "beyond awful" featuring "language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s". 

Braverman responded by saying she was "very disappointed" by Lineker's comments, with his BBC bosses also pledging to have a "frank conversation" with him over the broadcaster's impartiality guidelines. 

BBC employees are generally required to refrain from expressing personal opinions on political issues on social media in order to maintain its public image as an impartial broadcaster.


"Trust in the corporation is at the heart of this," said Katie Razzall, the BBC’s media editor. 

"It matters if the public believes its public service broadcaster doesn't represent their views." 

Lineker is one of the BBC’s most well-paid personalities, however, the question remains over whether the organisation's strict impartiality guidelines, mostly reserved for news journalists, apply to sports presenters and freelancers. 

Former Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis noted that Lineker had been able to openly criticise Qatar during the World Cup, only to be hounded by the media and bosses for commenting on a domestic political issue. 

Lineker, who has not stopped tweeting over the last few days, thanked those who had shown him "love and support".

"It means a lot. I’ll continue to try and speak up for those poor souls that have no voice. Cheers all," he said. 

When asked whether the BBC presenter should be sacked, Braverman said: "That’s a matter for the BBC and they will resolve that."

The government’s "migrant bill" has been condemned by the UN and refugee campaigners for penalising the most vulnerable people, creating a system of mass incarceration, and giving no refuge for those fleeing war, poverty, and prosecution.