Braverman: Lineker’s tweet ‘diminishes unspeakable tragedy of Holocaust’

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Braverman: Lineker’s tweet ‘diminishes unspeakable tragedy of Holocaust’

Home Secretary suggests presenter’s ‘Germany in 30s’ attack on her migration policies was ‘flippant’ and ‘lazy’

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker

Suella Braverman has claimed Gary Lineker’s reference to Nazi Germany in his attack on her migration policy “diminishes the unspeakable tragedy” of the Holocaust.

The home secretary, who was speaking to BBC journalist Nick Robinson on the Political Thinking podcast, made reference to her Jewish husband and said that “my children are therefore directly descended from people who were murdered in gas chambers during the Holocaust.”

She added: “my husband’s family feels very keenly the impact of the Holocaust actually. ”

Suella Braverman in the Commons

Then directly addressing Lineker’s tweet, she said:”To kind of throw out those kind of flippant analogies diminishes the unspeakable tragedy that millions of people went through and I don’t think anything that is happening in the UK today can come close to what happened in the Holocaust. So I find it a lazy and unhelpful comparison to make.”

Responding, presenter Robinson said to the home secretary in Lineker’s defence; “Maybe it isn’t flippant, maybe it is passion like the passion you feel… just
disagreeing with you?”

Braverman then said:”I wouldn’t never make those comparisons myself. We saw it during Brexit. I was called a “nazi “just for chairing the ERG or for being a Brexit supporter.

“I think it’s an unhelpful way to frame the debate which is actually focused on people’s lives, compassion, control over our borders and ultimately fairness (is) what the British people want.”

Suella Braverman and her husband Rael, who is Jewish. They are pictured celebrating their wedding in Fareham, Hampshire, in February 2018. Pic: Daily Mail

On Wednesday evening Braverman appeared on ITV’s Peston show, where she was asked by the host for her response to the Board of Deputies statement expressing concern over the legality of the government’s illegal migration bill, which aims to stop the small boats bringing asylum seekers into the country.

Robert Peston said to her: “You may have seen, that a group that is definitely not ‘lefty lawyers’, the British Board of Jewish Deputies, has put out a statement saying they’re ‘deeply concerned’ that your bill ‘breaches the Refugee Convention and the Human Rights Act’.

“What would you say to the British Board of Deputies?”

Braverman responded: “Well I haven’t seen the statement to which you are referring, but our view in Government is that the measures contained in the bill comply with the Refugee Convention, comply with our international obligations and are lawful.”

On Tuesday, Tory MPs responded angrily after Match of the Day host Lineker tweeted about what he said was a “cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the ‘30s.”

Some called for him to be sacked by the BBC, who employ the 62 year-old on a freelance basis.

Lineker refused to apologise for the tweet writing writing on the platform again to say that he had never known such “love and support” and promised to “continue to try and speak up for those poor souls that have no voice”.

On Thursday, it was reported that BBC chiefs had decided against sacking the football host, and had instead spoken to him about the issue, and the corporation’s policies around expressing political opinions.

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