Gary Lineker hits out at ‘boring’ Theresa May in plea for second Brexit vote

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Gary Lineker described Theresa May as “frightfully boring” as he re-iterated calls for a second vote on Brexit.

The Match Of The Day host spoke to a packed audience at Byline Festival in East Sussex on Sunday.

During the interview with Lisa Maxwell, who pointed out he had more followers on Twitter than the Prime Minister, he said: “Theresa May is frightfully boring on social media and, I suspect, in many aspects of life.

Theresa May attends church
Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to contain the Tory Party’s far right, Gary Lineker has said (Steve Parsons/PA)

Lineker has 7.14 million followers to Mrs May’s 609,000.

It is not the first time he has hit out at the Prime Minister.

On the day of the general election last year he said in a Twitter post that she had won the “own goal” of the season.

The former footballer turned pundit, who supported the Remain campaign, also reportedly blamed her for the “mess” of Brexit when he previously called for a second referendum.

Re-iterating those calls in his talk he also defended Mrs May, saying she had a “difficult job at the moment” in trying to “control the far right in the Conservative Party”.

He said people should at least have a chance to vote on the final deal and hoped Brexit would not turn out “as badly as forecast” but that “remains to be seen”.

He added: “There should never have been a referendum in the first place”, claiming voters had been “brainwashed to a degree” and the Remain campaign had not been strong enough.

The Olivier Awards 2018 – London
Gary Lineker said he had frequently been criticised for voicing his opinions (Isabel Infantes/PA)

He also called for empathy and help for refugees, people living in poverty and the homeless, adding: “We need to treat people better.”

The BBC’s highest paid star, earning more than £1.7 million a year, said he could not defend high wages in the sport and entertainment industries to people with “real” jobs.

But he added it was the “going rate” and no-one ever questioned highly-paid actors and singers.

He said he could be earning “double” if he had taken up offers from years ago to join ITV or Sky, adding: “I love my job.

“I pay a lot of taxes and give a lot to charity”.

He would take in refugees himself if he did not have so many children, he added.

Croatia v England – FIFA World Cup 2018 – Semi Final – Luzhniki Stadium
Gary Lineker (right), with fellow BBC pundits Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer, during the World Cup (Owen Humphreys/PA)

He said he felt proven right in speaking out, adding: “It used to depress me terribly to have an organisation that was so obviously corrupt.”

Building on remarks he reportedly made previously, when he branded gambling adverts “dangerous” and a risk to young football fans, he said the “frequency” of them while sport was watched and the number of companies taking up sponsorship was “worrying”.

He added: “It’s a slippery slope and it’s one that we need to be really careful about.

“I’ve been offered many times to do things for gambling companies and it’s a no.

“I will stick to the crisps.”

The four-day independent journalism and free-speech festival is taking place in Pippingford Park in the Ashdown Forest near Uckfield.

So far actor John Cleese, deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson and former Conservative Party co-chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi have all taken to the stage.

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie will speak on Monday.

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