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Gary Neville produces rant criticising the government during World Cup Final on ITV

Gary Neville produces a surprise rant criticising the government during the World Cup Final live on ITV amid strikes across the UK.

On Sunday, the pundit caused anger on social media by comparing striking workers in the UK with migrant labourers in Qatar.

He claimed that British ministers were ‘demonising’ public sector employees and said that the working conditions of striking nurses and railway workers were similar to those experienced by Qatar’s large foreign workforce, criticising for allegedly exploitative employment practices, and the high number of construction-related deaths, the Gulf state has been criticised.

Simon Clarke, a former levelling-up secretary, said that the comparison was ‘grotesque’.

ITV say that it didn’t endorse Neville, whose comments were in response to Roy Keane, a fellow pundit, who claimed that the World Cup was contaminated by corruption.

Neville explained: “The working system of Kafala which obviously through football the conversation has started and it’s been removed here now in Qatar but it is abhorrent and we should detest low pay, we should detest poor accommodation and working conditions.

“We can never accept that in this region or any other region and it is just worth mentioning we’ve got a current government in our country that are demonising rail workers, ambulance workers and terrifying nurses.

“In our country we’ve got to look at workers rights but when football goes, we have to pick up on workers rights wherever it goes because people have got to be equal and treated equal.”

Neville, often an outspoken critic of Britain’s Conservative government in the last few years, went on: “We can’t have people being paid an absolute pittance to work, we can’t have people in accommodation that is unsavoury and disgusting. It shouldn’t happen here.

“That shouldn’t happen here with the wealth that exists. But it shouldn’t happen with the nurses in our country either where our nurses are having to fight for an extra pound or two pounds.”

Neville’s comments got quite a response on social media.

Tory MP Mr Clarke tweeted on it: ‘It is beyond ridiculous that he is given free rein by ITV Sport to overtly politicise a major sporting event.

‘Quite apart from the fact every nurse is receiving a pay rise of £1,400, to compare workers’ rights in Qatar with the UK is grotesque.’

Ex-Tory party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said ITV should ave cut off Neville, who is a member of the Labour Party.

He added: ‘People have been killed on building sites and things all over Qatar and paid a pittance, and he compares that to the UK? It’s unbelievable.

‘To compare a country that demonises gay rights, executes and brings in migrant workers by the truckload and pays them a pittance to a democratic country that has the concept of human rights, rule of law and all that goes with it – he’s abused his position.’

Lee Anderson, Conservative MP for Ashfield, said: ‘It’s a classic case of another champagne socialist who’s got more money than sense. ITV should sack him.

‘Another party political broadcast by a millionaire. Looks like ITV is on my banned list now. Talk about football Gary and keep your nose out of politics. You don’t know what you’re talking about.’

Neville replied back at the MP online, writing: ‘I’m glad you’re pissed off! The biggest set of charlatans to ever be in power!’

Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s former chief of staff, said: ‘Gary Neville – paid apologist for Qatar – used his ITV punditry berth to make a party political speech unchallenged and make offensive comparisons between Qatar and Britain on workers’ rights.

‘The hypocrisy is no surprise but the failure of ITV to pre-empt this is unacceptable.’

Neville responded by saying: ‘Triggering all the right people.’

Many will recall how he was left speechless in November’s appearance on Have I Got News For You, where he was grilled over his decision to attend the World Cup.

Nev was backed into a corner to defend his ‘reputation’ as the topic of him accepting money from a Qatari broadcaster was brought up.

‘You know David Beckham, don’t you? He’s going, isn’t he? How much is he being paid?’ panellist Paul Merton asked Neville.

‘I don’t know,’ Neville replied. ‘More than me!’

He tried to deflect the situation, Neville asking panellist Ian Hislop if ‘it’s coming home?’

‘What, your reputation?’ came a reply.

Hislop felt other panellists had been ‘very gentle’ with first time show host Neville, but he ruthlessly went for him to get answers as to why exactly he has accepted Qatari money.

‘The elephant in the room is you’re commentating there. What’s the defence?’ Hislop asked.

‘Yeah, I’m commentating,’ Neville said.

‘Well, you’ve got a choice, haven’t you? My view always has been that you either highlight the issues and challenges in these countries and speak about them, or you basically don’t say anything and stay back home and don’t go. And I think we should challenge them.’

Hislop added: ‘The other option is you stay at home and highlight the abuses. You don’t have to take the Qataris’ money. It’s just not a very good defence.’

Neville was rather speechless as the live audience applauded.

‘That’s…’ he said, before tailing off.

This is how viewers reacted as Gary Neville produces a rant criticising the government during the World Cup Final on ITV…

@AnthonyAinsdale: Gary Neville has lost the plot. The government aren’t demonising public sector workers. They just simply can’t afford to pay them above inflation pay rises. It’s that simple.

@JaneFeathersto1: I support what Gary Neville says. I support thé strikes. I do not support you

@AnthonyAinsdale: Gary Neville has lost the plot. The government aren’t demonising public sector workers. They just simply can’t afford to pay them above inflation pay rises. It’s that simple.

@CorbynistaEdith: So proud of Socialist Hero @GNev2 calling out the injustice in Qatar. THIS is why he is worth every penny of his six figure contract to be there 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿

@northernuproar: Nothing he said was incorrect and fair play for him using his media platform to highlight the issue to a tv audience of millions. I know you were sacked from TV, but remind me of your audience figures Darren? Do I sense a tiny bit of jealousy creeping in?

@S1ngh32: I think it was brilliant of @GNev2 using @ITVSport to air his views on the current government. Let’s not forget @MattHancock used his position in front of the nation to target @premierleague footballers by asking them to take a paycut to help the @NHSuk Where was the outcry then?

@PhilipProudfoot: Gary Neville making some fair points here, avoiding signalling out the Middle East when workers rights are also under attack at home. Credit to him for that.

@timmyvoe: Gary Neville getting on his high horse about nurses pay, Comparing it to workers rights in Qatar, All whilst he’s been working for Qatari television!?!? 😳😳😳 #itv

@cold957: The World Cup final on tv, you get to choose between. A tax dodging, virtue signalling hypocrite in Gary Lineker. Or, a millionaire hypocrite socialist, preaching fairness & never ending party political broadcasts while taking large sums from The Qatari’s, in Gary Neville.

@addicted2newz: The woke wet wipe, Gary Neville, is happy to take money from Qatari state-run TV, then uses his platform to make stupid comparisons between Qatar and Britain on workers rights in a completely unchallenged party political broadcast. What an unhinged virtue signalling hypocrite.

@valcolvin802: Very well said @GNev2 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 #YNWA ✊🏽

@mag7rab: 👏🏽 well done Gary.

@Permanentcuriou: I think he’s very smart to use a massive platform to take a chance to air his view. Throw in McCoist on co- comms the ITV slam dunk the day!

@jfwduffield: The shameless hypocrisy & sheer joylessness of Gary Neville is something to behold. Comparing public sector strikes in the UK with slave labour in Qatar during a World Cup final. Whilst being paid by the Qatari government. Right.

@BedwyrMorgan: Wow !!! Well said @GNev2 . We do for sure have our own serious problems in the UK … Personally I wouldn’t have gone to Qatar but this speech certainly was worth watching👏

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