It's 'bad news' for Gary Lineker as Piers Morgan is defending him now

Downing Street brands Gary Lineker’s criticism of asylum policy ‘unacceptable’

The Gary Lineker ‘controversy’ is rumbling on into a third day, and there’s more “bad news” for the presenter – now, his old Twitter foe Piers Morgan is defending him.

The Match of the Day presenter criticised Home office policy and compared it to Nazi Germany this week, resulting in a BBC spokesperson stating that he will be “reminded of his responsibilities on social media” by the broadcaster.

Lineker commented on a Twitter video put out by Home Secretary Suella Braverman tweet, which saw her discuss government plans to stop migrant boats crossing the Channel.

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“Good heavens, this is beyond awful,” Lineker wrote, responding to Braverman's video.

After another social media user called him “out of order”, the former England footballer replied: “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, and I’m out of order?”

Now, Morgan has weighed in on the comments and said that while they were “clearly incendiary”, Lineker’s opinions “should not matter to the BBC’s news output”.

Speaking during a Talk TV monologue on Wednesday, Morgan said he had “no problem” with Lineker expressing his personal views online.

“Gary got a bit carried away, as he tends to do. We get into it quite regularly, this is what he does and he would say the same about me,” he said.

“We both have strong opinions, we both believe in what we say and we express them forcefully, but we agree to disagree.

“And I have no problem with Gary Lineker, a football presenter, sports presenter, from giving his views.

“He’s not a BBC news journalist, he’s not anchoring The News at 10 or Question Time or Newsnight, he’s a football presenter doing Match Of The Day and other major sporting events.

“He’s a celebrity and a public figure, his eight and a half million followers want to know what he thinks about stuff.

“Why do we pretend that people like him exist in a sealed BBC bubble of perfect propriety, when no opinions exist?

“Who cares what Gary Lineker really says about government policy on stuff? In the end he’s just a football presenter, and I don’t mean that to denigrate him, he’s very good at it. But he’s not a news presenter.

“So it shouldn’t matter to the BBC’s news output what he thinks about the migrant situation.”

Morgan went on to say that had Lineker made his remarks while presenting Match Of The Day, the criticism would have been “justified”.

Morgan then tweeted a link to the clip, writing: “Bad news @GaryLineker - I’m your defence.”

Lineker then jokingly replied: “I’m doooooomed.”

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