Gary Lineker branded ‘irresponsible’ for comparing UK immigration measures to 1930s Germany

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Gary Lineker branded ‘irresponsible’ for comparing UK immigration measures to 1930s Germany

Following Home Office migrant video by Suella Braverman, the BBC pundit criticised the "immeasurably cruel policy" and "language that is not dissimilar to that used in the ’30s"

Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has branded Gary Lineker “irresponsible” for comparing the Government’s proposed immigration measures to 1930s Germany.

The Match Of The Day host was also criticised by immigration minister Robert Jenrick, who said he is “so far out of step with the British public” after he called the Government’s proposed measures “cruel”.

A BBC source told the PA news agency the corporation is taking the matter “seriously” and expects to have a “frank conversation” with the 62-year-old.

Screeb grab taken from the Twitter account of Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker showing his comment on a Twitter video put out by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, in which she unveiled government plans to stop migrant boats crossing the Channel. Gary Lineker will reportedly be given a talking-to by the BBC following a social media post in which he appeared to compare Home Office policy to Nazi Germany. Issue date: Wednesday March 8, 2023.

Following the criticism on Wednesday, Lineker wrote on Twitter: “Morning all. Anything going on?”

He then followed this up with another post, adding: “Great to see the freedom of speech champions out in force this morning demanding silence from those with whom they disagree.”

“I have never known such love and support in my life than I’m getting this morning (England World Cup goals aside, possibly),” he also wrote. “I’ll continue to try and speak up for those poor souls that have no voice.”

On Tuesday, Lineker wrote on Twitter about a Home Office video in which Ms Braverman unveiled the Government’s plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel on small boats and said the UK is being “overwhelmed”.

The ex-England striker, who is not a permanent member of staff at the BBC and is a freelance broadcaster that is not responsible for news or political content, wrote: “There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.

“This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the ’30s.”

In response, Ms Braverman told ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) she was “very disappointed” by his comments.

She added: “Equating our measures – which are lawful, necessary and fundamentally compassionate – to 1930s Germany is irresponsible and I disagree with that characterisation.”

Asked if Lineker should resign or be sacked, she said: “That’s a matter for the BBC and they will resolve that.”

She invited Lineker to visit England’s ports to “see what the communities in Kent and Dover and actually all around the UK are feeling about this issue”.

GMB presenter Susanna Reid also grilled Ms Braverman after the minister said there is “likely billions” of migrants “eager” to come to the UK, saying: “On what planet is that likely and how is that not inflammatory language?”

Ms Braverman said the numbers were based on UN estimates of displaced people throughout the world, but Reid said it is a “fact” that only tens of thousands of migrants are coming to the UK on small boats.

Meanwhile on Lineker’s comments, Mr Jenrick told Times Radio: “My children are the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and I think those sorts of words should not be thrown around lightly.

“Gary Lineker is paid for by the British taxpayer and it’s disappointing that he is so far out of step with the British public.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said she does not think it is “right to make comparisons with the 1930s” after the comments, but “people can have their own views”.

BBC director-general Tim Davie previously warned staff over their use of social media when he took on the role at the end of 2020, and guidelines around social media use have since been updated.

Staff were told they need to follow editorial guidelines and editorial oversight in the same way as when doing BBC content.

Lineker, who last year was named as the BBC’s top earning on-air talent for the fifth consecutive year, was paid between £1,350,000 and £1,354,999 in 2021/2022 for Match Of The Day and Sports Personality Of The Year.

He also presented the Qatar World Cup coverage on the BBC in 2022.

The 62-year-old presenter previously said in November 2020 that he hosted refugees through the charity Refugees At Home.

A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC has social media guidance, which is published. Individuals who work for us are aware of their responsibilities relating to social media.

“We have appropriate internal processes in place if required.”

Representatives for Lineker have been contacted for comment.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: