Gary Lineker Mocks Lee Anderson And Jonathan Gullis Amid ‘Stick To Football’ Row

Match of the Day host prompts Tory anger after criticising the Rwanda deportation policy – and fires back at critics.
War of words: Lee Anderson, Gary Lineker and Jonathan Gullis.
War of words: Lee Anderson, Gary Lineker and Jonathan Gullis.

Gary Lineker has taken aim at three prominent Conservatives after a row broke out over the Match of the Day host slamming the government’s Rwanda policy.

The former England striker was one of a number of well-known figures to put their names to a letter urging ministers to scrap the plan.

Lineker said: “We need a new system that reflects the will of the British people who have opened their homes, donated and volunteered in their local communities.

“That’s why I’m backing this new campaign, because fair really can begin here.”

It prompted an inevitable backlash from Tory MPs, led by the party’s deputy chairman Lee Anderson.

Citing a quote he’d given the Daily Mail, Anderson wrote on X/Twitter: “For once in his life, Gary’s absolutely right - we do need a system that reflects the will of the British people.

“What the people want is to stop the boats and to tell overpaid crisp salesmen to put a sock in it.

“Alongside cracking down on illegal migration, we need another robust system which keeps Lineker as far away from the public as possible, to give us all a rest from his left wing out of touch nonsense.”

In response, Lineker had a jab at the party’s ailing poll rating ahead of a general election expected in the next year.

“I guess we’ll find out what the will of the British people is at the next general election. If you do end up out of work, I’ll put in a word for you with Walkers Crisps,” wrote Lineker, who used to star in adverts for the snack manufacturer.

And then he came for another Conservative.

Former minister Jonathan Gullis also attacked Lineker’s stance, arguing: “Yet another breach of the BBC’s impartiality rules by Gary Lineker. But, sadly, spineless Tim Davie will do nothing about it, having surrendered to Lineker previously.”

This time, Lineker had a more personal pop: “Jonathan hasn’t read the new guidelines….or, should I say, had someone read them to him?”

Then came Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, who criticised the broadcaster for “meddling” in politics.

This time he mocked “4 chaps Shapps” for an old controversy around Shapps’s series of aliases.

It’s not the first time Lineker has become involved with political controversy.

The ex-footballer came in for fierce criticism earlier this year when he said the government’s language over immigration was reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

That led to his temporary removal from Match of the Day by BBC bosses.


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