BBC speaking ‘frankly’ with Gary Lineker after comparing UK’s asylum policy to 1930s Germany

Lineker has labelled the Home Office's choice of language akin to that seen under the Nazis.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 8th March 2023

The BBC has reportedly had a “frank conversation” with former footballer and Match of the Day presenter, Gary Lineker, after his comments regarding the UK’s current asylum policy.

Following the latest policy push from the Home Office as the government department looks to further crackdown on small boat crossings in the English Channel, Lineker took to social media to share his dismay at their latest measures.

Reacting to the video of Home Secretary Suella Braverman declaring “enough is enough” and that the UK’s asylum policy on migrants attempting to cross the Channel must now ramp up, the ex-England star simply wrote: “Good heavens, this is beyond awful”.

Although he received a raft of support from a large section of social media, many others took issue with the TV personality’s outspoken stance, arguing that he failed to remain impartial as a BBC employee.

Now, the BBC itself has insisted that the 62-year-old has now been “spoken to frankly” following his remarks, stressing the organisation’s impartiality guidelines and his responsibilities as a broadcaster.


Lineker is no stranger to sharing his thoughts and opinions on social media and while the quote tweet of the video itself might not have escalated to this stage, it was the subsequent discussion that has caused controversy.

Responding to another user who labelled him “bang out of order”, Lineker responded by stating that the UK takes in “far fewer refugees than other major European countries” and went on to compare the government’s language as “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s” when the Nazis were in power.


Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she was “disappointed” by the comments, adding that “equating our measures – which are lawful, necessary and fundamentally compassionate… is irresponsible and I disagree with that characterisation”.

For context, the government outlined their latest plans to effectively ban anyone arriving via an “illegal route” from claiming asylum in the UK on Tuesday.

Essentially, anyone found to have entered the country illegally, regardless of the circumstances (i.e. fleeing war, poverty, etc.) will be blocked from returning or claiming British citizenship in the future.


The measure is part of an attempt to address the increase in the number of people arriving in the UK via Channel crossings each year — around 300 in 2018 to more than 45,000 in 2022, which is still significantly less than most other European countries.

In response to the proposals, the UN’s refugee agency declared it was “profoundly concerned” by the UK government’s approach and long-term immigration policy, describing it as akin to an asylum ban.

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Nevertheless, despite the backlash from Braverman, the BBC and many online, Lineker has since responded by doubling down in his humanitarian sentiment.

He went on to say, “I have never known such love and support in my life than I’m getting this morning”, adding that he will “continue to try and speak up for those poor souls that no voice”.

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Featured Image — BBC/Sandor Csudai (via Doras)