"We applaud him and the football community for standing together on this issue"
The Green Party of England and Wales has come out in support of the football presenter and pundit Gary Lineker following his suspension from his BBC presenting duties. The Green Party voted for an emergency motion at its spring conference which said that it “expresses solidarity” with Lineker.
The Match of the Day presenter was stood down from his role after comments he made about the government’s rhetoric and policies around migration. He described the government’s policies trying to stop migrants from reaching the UK via the English Channel as “immeasurably cruel” and the language as “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”.
The BBC’s actions have been heavily criticised, with a number of other football presenters, pundits and commentators refusing to present on Match of the Day.
Jack Lenox, the party’s culture, media and sport spokesperson described the BBC‘s decision to suspend Lineked as “indefensible”. He said: “The BBC’s decision to come down so hard on Gary Lineker over his tweets is indefensible.”
He went on to say: “the point Lineker was making around the deliberately inhumane approach of Conservative asylum policy was entirely valid.
“We applaud him and the football community for standing together on this issue, showing teamwork and leadership on such a critical topic. Ironically, that’s something that’s severely lacking from our government.
“The deliberate stoking of this issue as part of an incessant Tory culture war also serves as a distraction from the urgent humanitarian crisis on our doorstep. The issue of desperate refugees should not be used as a political football.”
Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward
This article is jointly published with Bright Green
Image credit: Hammersmith and Fulham Council – Creative Commons