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Sport and Politics: Gary Lineker criticises UK Government Illegal Migration Bill

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Former England footballer and Sports TV presenter, Gary Lineker, has caused a stir with a ‘tweet’ criticising the UK Government’s proposed legislation to crack down on illegal migration to the UK.

Under the proposed legislation, migrants coming to the UK in small boats across the English Channel will be sent back and never allowed to enter the UK again and obtain UK citizenship. These measures are considered, in several quarters, to be illegal under International Law and, in particular, contrary to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951, of which the UK is a signatory.

In his ‘tweet’ he described the proposed legislation as “immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people.”

And added that the language used for introducing this legislation “was not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s.” A reference to the Nazis!

The UK Home Secretary (Interior Minister), Suella Braverman, commented:

I’m disappointed. I think it’s unhelpful to compare our measures, which are lawful, proportionate, and indeed compassionate, to 1930s Germany.”

The Deputy Chairman of the UK governing Conservative Party, Lee Anderson, added his voice to the criticism:

This is just another example of how out of touch these overpaid stars are with the voting public …. [and] instead of lecturing, Mr Lineker should stick to reading the football scores and flogging crisps.”

Lineker presents the popular BBC TV ‘Match of the Day’ and reportedly earned £1.35 million in the last financial year.

Unbowed, Lineker stated that he would “continue to try and speak up for those poor souls who have no voice.”

In view of the hoo-ha, one may well ask, whatever happened to ‘free speech’ particularly on matters of public interest?

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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