Josh Widdicombe has become the latest star to launch a scathing attack on Boris Johnson and Priti Patel over their ‘insincere’ support of the England men’s football team after Euro 2020.
The national team made it to their first final in 55 years last Sunday, where they took on Italy in a tense game at Wembley Stadium.
Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were met with horrific racial abuse on social media when they missed their penalties in the shootout, with Italy going on to lift the trophy.
Following the game, the Prime Minister and Home Secretary condemned the attack and implored the public to be respectful, with many calling out the impact of their previous statements – as Ms Patel stated England fans had a right to boo the players for taking the knee against racism.
Having none of it, Josh blasted their actions on last night’s instalment of the Last Leg, fuming: ‘I just find it infuriating how insincere these politicians are.
‘Priti Patel and Boris Johnson pretending to be England fans is the most insincere thing I’ve seen since I pretended to like Game of Thrones to get on Thronecast.’
Agreeing, Alex Brooker replied: ‘It’s a shame that footballers have to speak out against politicians now. It’s a good thing because footballers have a larger reach than politicians.
‘I wish I’d seen Steve McManaman have a go at John Major!’
The pair are among the stars who have taken aim at the politicians over their public support of the England team despite their previous actions.
Matthew Wright instead called for ‘strong leadership’ as he attacked the PM on This Morning earlier this week.
He told Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: ‘We’ve had our leaders, Priti Patel [was] asked what does she think about booing the knee, when the players take the knee.
‘Boris Johnson, our own leader, has used racist phraseology in the past in his articles.
‘And then we’re surprised that a significant, small but significant, proportion of fans racially abuse our heroes?
‘I think what we need is strong leadership at a time like this.’
While Gary Neville made a passionate speech during an appearance on Sky News, where he referred to an article written by Mr Johnson in the Telegraph in 2018, when he was accused of Islamophobia for comparing Muslim women wearing a niqab to letterboxes.
When asked if the PM could learn from England manager Gareth Southgate, the former England ace said: ‘He said muslim women look like letterboxes.
‘Gareth Southgate and Boris Johnson are absolutely poles apart. You can be a leader and gentleman. You can be ruthless but have empathy and compassion.
‘This is nothing to do with Conservatives, Labour or Liberal Democrat. I really am disenfranchised with what I see in politics at this moment in time. There is a lack of leadership.
‘Gareth over these last few weeks… he talks with dignity, he’s genuine, he’s compassionate. He connected to the people of this country. It’s someone and feel like I know.’
Gary added: ‘And yet, when I hear sometimes when the MPs speak, I think: “What is happening? How can we vote for these people?”
‘[Southgate] is hugging the captain of the opposite one minute and he’s hugging Saka the next. That’s what a great leader does.
‘He’s carried himself brilliantly. It demonstrates that you can be a gentleman, you can be have really good standards but you can also lead.’
The Last Leg continues on Fridays, at 10pm on Channel 4.
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