Gary Lineker backs Brexit referendum campaign

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Former England footballer Gary Lineker has backed the campaign for another EU referendum, saying Brexit feels like it is "going very wrong indeed".

The BBC Match of the Day presenter said some things in life were "more important than football".

He is backing the People's Vote campaign, a cross-party group including prominent Labour and Lib Dem MPs.

They are planning a "summer of action" to step up pressure on MPs to back a vote on the final Brexit deal.

The government has ruled out another referendum after Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016. The UK is on course to leave the EU on 29 March next year.

The People's Vote campaign is hoping to get enough MPs, including the Labour leadership, to back a referendum on the deal Theresa May strikes with Brussels, which is due to be put to a vote in Parliament in October.

In a statement backing the People's Vote campaign, he said: "I am not a politician but I know when something is going wrong and right now Brexit feels like it is going very wrong indeed."

He said politicians seemed "unable to resolve the problem" the EU referendum had given them.

Bias claims

Lineker has been critical of Brexit on social media in recent times, attracting claims of bias from Brexit supporters.

Critics have also pointed to a Twitter message he sent a year ago, which said "Can't find the bit in my tweet where I ask for another referendum. Leave won. Get over it."

Replying to those comments, Lineker tweeted he was "happy to admit I've now changed my mind", adding that he did not envisage "at the time that we'd ever contemplate a 'no deal Brexit' and the ensuing carnage that would bring".

A spokesman for the BBC said: "Gary is not involved in any news or political output for the BBC and as such any expression of his personal political views does not affect the BBC's impartiality."

Senior Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin, who campaigned for Brexit in the referendum, was asked about Lineker's comments on ITV's Good Morning Britain.

He said: "I hesitate to criticise any individual - they're entitled to their opinion - but he's only one individual and during the referendum there were lots of stars and people who came out and endorsed this or the other, but people made up their own minds."

On the idea of MPs deciding to call a fresh referendum, he said that although most MPs had been for Remain in the 2016 vote, "they have to accept the result... this will be a crisis for our democracy if the British people are ignored".