Gary Lineker says MPs need to be paid MORE money

Gary Lineker says politicians should be paid more to encourage
Gary Lineker says politicians should be paid more to encourage "brilliant minds" to come forward

Britain would be better governed if politicians were paid more, according to the ex-footballer

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Match of the Day host, Gary Lineker said the country’s “brilliant minds” would be more enticed to go into politics if they were paid more.

Lineker described politics as “even more tribal” than football and said the atmosphere was putting off smart, successful people who could do a better job.

The former footballer added that he wouldn’t be tempted to enter the political arena himself.

New poll results found that the British public think jobs such as a surgeon, nurse or firefighter are harder than being prime minister.

Lineker said being a footballer is 'certainly not easy'
Lineker said being a footballer is 'certainly not easy'

And jobs including being a journalist, a banker, or a professional footballer are easier than running the country.

The 62-year-old said that people might be confusing the job that they would most like to do with what is necessarily easy.

He told the Times Radio: “Most children, probably more than any other job, would like to be footballers. Therefore, the fact that it’s so difficult to get to the top in the first place suggests that it’s certainly not easy.”

The sports broadcaster also said top footballers must train hard and give up “partying” lifestyles in order to be successful.

He added that in contrast to the background of many politicians, football is “completely meritocratic”.

“There’s no paternal help. There’s not a question of who you know, rather than what you know, and it’s unbelievably competitive,” he said.

“There are thousands and thousands of kids at football club academies, and only a tiny, tiny percentage make it to the top. So that suggests to me, it’s actually probably one of the most difficult jobs in the world, certainly not the easiest.

“Maybe they are thinking about the salaries, which is always something that’s aimed at football [and] doesn’t seem to apply to other sports, but maybe that’s because most footballers are working-class lads. I don’t know. But I would argue football is certainly not easy by any stretch of the imagination.”

Gary Lineker is one of the BBC's most highly paid presenters
Gary Lineker is one of the BBC's most highly paid presenters

MPs are paid a basic salary of £84,144 which rises to £106,519 as a junior minister.

Cabinet members receive £151,649 while the prime minister received £159,584 per year.

When asked if politicians should be paid more, Lineker said: “You’d probably never get that through parliament, but I’ve always thought it’s such an important job . . . if we could tempt the really brilliant minds in the country into the roles, rather than perhaps people that are already self made, or their family’s fortune.

“I don’t think we really entice the great minds in the country and probably a bigger salary would. But I don’t think you’d ever get that through.”