Grant Shapps Tells Gary Lineker To 'Stick To' Football After Rwanda Plan Criticism

The Match of The Day host signed a letter urging the government to scrap the scheme.
Gary Lineker has spoken out on a number of political issues.
Gary Lineker has spoken out on a number of political issues.
Andy Kelvin - PA Images via Getty Images

Grant Shapps has told Gary Lineker to “stick to” footballs after the Match of the Day host criticised 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.

Others included Succession star Brian Cox and former head of the British army, Lord Dannatt.

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.”

Lineker 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.

Asked on Times Radio this morning whether Lineker should make political comments while being employed by the BBC, Shapps said: "No. And he’s been through all of this before and the BBC have told him he shouldn’t do this type of thing. But still, it continues.

"And look, the point I’d make to Mr. Lineker is what is right or moral about having people trafficked dangerously across the English Channel, losing their lives at sea, illegally entering the country. That is not a civilised, morally correct thing to do.”

He said Lineker’s future is “up to the BBC” and added: "As far as I see it, they have issued previous warnings to him, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do and say at this point.

"But I know millions of people watch him for his football commentary and TV presenting. I would have thought it was better to stick with that.”


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