Monday 19 February 2018

Gary Lineker's child refugee comments led to 'spanking' by BBC but won't cost job

Gary Lineker landed in hot water over his comments on child refugees
Gary Lineker landed in hot water over his comments on child refugees

Harriet Line

Gary Lineker has admitted his comments about child refugees had led him to get "a bit of a spanking".

But the TV personality is confident his job is safe.

There have been calls for the BBC to sack the Match Of The Day host for wading into the debate after he said public treatment of the young migrants arriving in the UK this week was "hideously racist", sparking criticism.

The Sun newspaper claimed the broadcaster was "under pressure to fire" the retired footballer, but Lineker dismissed the story.

UK Border Force staff escort one of a group of unaccompanied minors from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais as they arrive at an immigration centre in Croydon, south London, Britain October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
UK Border Force staff escort one of a group of unaccompanied minors from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais as they arrive at an immigration centre in Croydon, south London, Britain October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

His intervention came after concerns were raised about the age of those being transferred from the Calais Jungle camp as part of a new fast-track system to help vulnerable youngsters.

A number of the arrivals were accused of looking considerably older than 18, prompting him to post on Twitter: "The treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless. What's happening to our country?"

In response to the criticism, Lineker tweeted: "Getting a bit of a spanking today, but things could be worse - Imagine, just for a second, being a refugee having to flee from your home.

"Must say though, I'm rather chuffed to have been called a 'luvvie'."The 55-year-old also responded to one Twitter user who claimed he "deserved" to lose his job, saying "I won't".

Press Association

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