Wednesday 16 January 2019

Sam Allardyce, Gary Lineker and Chris Waddle have all waded into Brexit debate

The former England boss said he believed a confidence vote in Theresa May was a plot to install a pro-Remain prime minister.

(Nigel French/PA)
(Nigel French/PA)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

Sam Allardyce has followed Gary Lineker and Chris Waddle by wading into the Brexit debate, calling the Conservatives an “absolute disgrace” for failing to get behind Theresa May’s deal.

The former England manager said he believed the ballot was a plot to halt Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, despite the fact that it was Brexit-supporting MPs who are believed largely to have triggered the confidence vote in the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT, Allardyce said: “Get ’em out. Get ’em out. They’re supposed to be representing us as the public. We voted for Brexit, we voted for it. We vote them in to look after us, not to look after their own agendas which they are doing now.

“Brexit was to be negotiated. Now they’re doing everything they possibly can not even to get… who has put a better Brexit deal in front of us? I’ve never seen one – have you?”

May faced a confidence vote on Wednesday after rebel Tory MPs unhappy with her handling of Brexit triggered a ballot by writing to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, made up of backbench Conservatives.

She saw off the challenge, winning by 200 votes to 117 in a secret ballot, but has nevertheless faced calls from the staunchly pro-Brexit European Research Group and its chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg to resign.

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Theresa May survived a confidence vote triggered by rebel Tory MPs (Victoria Jones/PA)

Despite this, Allardyce, 64, said: “To me it looks like a coup to try and get her out, to try and get another referendum. For me, they got one ready to go in as prime minister and say, ‘We’re going to have another referendum’ so it’ll all be Remain this time round.

“It’s an absolute disgrace. Conservatives are a disgrace on what they’re doing at the moment, never mind what Labour are doing. The Conservatives, they should be ashamed of themselves and how they’re reacting on behalf of the public in this country. They are an absolute disgrace.”

Despite voicing pro-Brexit views, he criticised Rees-Mogg for calling for May’s resignation.

“He’s the first one out for me,” Allardyce said. “You wouldn’t like to have him sat alongside you hoping you were going to get some support, would you?”

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Pro-Brexit Jacob Rees-Mogg should be the ‘first to go’, according to Sam Allardyce (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Allardyce, who said he has switched between supporting Labour and the Conservatives during his life, also criticised the state of politics generally, saying: “At the moment there is nobody in any parliament I would want to vote for that would look after my rights in this country.”

The former Bolton and Newcastle manager is not the only high-profile character from the world of football voicing pro-Brexit views as members of England’s 1990 World Cup squad discussed the issue on Twitter.

Ex-England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, England’s all-time leading appearance maker, said he was “so impressed” with Rees-Mogg, adding: “He really knows what he is talking about and puts it across in a calm and calculated manner!”

Waddle, in a tweet he subsequently deleted, said: “Well done Theresa May,now let’s leave Brexit with no deal we will be fine.”

They were countered by Shilton’s long-time England room-mate Gary Lineker, who joked that “you should never see a tweet from your heroes”, and told Waddle, in a nod to the responses he himself receives when he voices his political views, that he should “stick to football”.

Their old England team-mate Peter Reid also chipped in, replying to Shilton’s Rees-Mogg tweet: “I’ll agree to disagree on that one Goalie. He’s loopy, doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.”

Press Association

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