The right attacks Gary Linekar over his plans to house a refugee in his home

The Canary

Gary Lineker stated that “providing a new start” represents “the best of Britain’s values” as he prepares to welcome a refugee in his home. The Match Of The Day host is waiting for his application to house a refugee to be approved.

Some on the right, however, have accused the host of “virtue signalling”. Others have pointed out the hypocrisy of their position.

“Why not?”

“I have been thinking of doing something like that for a while,” Linekar told the Daily Mirror.

“My kids are all grown up so I’ve got plenty of room so if I can help on a temporary basis then I’m more than happy to do so. Why not?”

He’s been in touch with charity Refugees At Home, according to the report, and will have an interview and a home visit from the organisation before his application is approved. It comes as Lineker filmed a “refugees welcome” video for the International Rescue Committee.

Posting the video on Twitter, he wrote:

Sitting in a cafe, with union bunting behind him, Lineker says that “Britain wouldn’t be Britain without fish and chips, a national institution, a culinary delight”. The animated fish and chips then tell the TV host that they were brought over to the UK by refugees, who also combined the two. Lineker states: “Britain wouldn’t be Britain without refugees” and the video ends with a “refugees welcome” sign on the cafe door.

Backlash

Some people on the right have criticised Linekar for the move:

 

Others have suggested this criticism shows certain hypocrisy:

Last month Lineker, father to four sons, hinted he was willing to house a refugee after sharing a screenshot from an email from Refugees At Home.

Tory MP Lee Anderson accused Lineker of “virtue signalling” and suggested he should house “the next boat of illegal immigrants”.

Government response

The ex-Leicester, Everton, Barcelona, and Tottenham striker told the Daily Mirror he is “not at all” apprehensive about housing a refugee and has no idea who he will be living with or where they will be from.

I have had so much connection with refugees over the last couple of years.

I have met scores of young ­refugees through football schemes and they are genuinely lovely kids and they appreciate any help they can get.

The former footballer has been critical of the government’s response to refugees attempting to cross the English Channel, describing it as “heartless and completely without empathy”.

Dinghies and Ribs are moored up at Dover harbour
Dinghies and Ribs are moored up at Dover harbour (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The Home Office has come under scrutiny over record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel to reach the UK.

At least 409 people reached British shores in a rush of small boats on Wednesday, a new single-day record.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Possibly he’s doing this after 5 years or more of virtue signalling and doing nothing despite earning close to £2,000,000 a year.
      The lengths The Canary will go to in pursuit of attacking the Right is risible. You are supporting a multi millionaire who earns £200 an hour simply because he’s caved to pressure from the right.

    2. I do so hope his intentions are heartfelt, but please forgive the shovel full of salt I pour upon his motives.
      Throughout his life Gary Lineker has never done anything if it didn’t benefit Gary Lineker.
      From toeing in other players goals during his “I’ve never been booked in my entire” career. Proves he never worked for the team.
      To his two job mega salaries.
      One on the BBC, where he refused a pay cut in order to try to save the pensioners free TV licences. (Granny killer). Where he used his position to get his son a cushy job producing a show that I believed was entitled “Gary Lineker. My part in The Foxes victory.”
      And his other one on BT, where he occasionally talks about how great he was. But only when his “beloved” Tottenham are playing.
      Nope. If he does get his licence to house a refugee, I expect it will be one he has hand picked himself. One that won’t take any shine off of him. One that will give him status. Probably some young woman that he can “daddy”.

    3. Anyone with a large mansion should be forced to house either refugees or homeless people. Otherwise they should have to downsize. He is only doing what is right, but the likes of Jakob Rees Mogg should be forced. They might be less likely to support foreign wars in future.

    4. They always harp on about the high number of economic migrants we get. But the vast majority who come ARE seeking asylum and most of those are adjudged to be genuine refugees. But Britain sees FAR fewer claims for asylum than any of it’s European neighbors, about 75% less in fact. People constantly overestimate the number of people born abroad who live here, by around 50% on average.

      So apart from all of the facts being incorrect we are left with a genuine uptick of crossings by boat. No doubt this has been boosted for two reasons. Firstly COVID means other methods just aren’t possible, there is less traffic moving so it’s harder to get through via road, the same is true with arriving by air. It forces many who would have chosen another route in to go via boat in an extremely dangerous crossing for those who are overcrowded and underequipped.

      The right wing who harp on about this don’t say much about the high number of Australians in Earls Court but they DO go on about the tiny number coming in by boat. Are they REALLY only motivated by racism? Yup!

    5. I suppose that taking things at face value has all but disappeared in these “post truth” days but I feel happy that a wealthy “celebrity” is doing something. I’m pleased too for the recipient of this generous action. I just hope they don’t find themselves in the middle of the “media circus” once they arrive! A degree of privacy and discretion is essential.

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