Andy Burnham supports Tyrone Mings after England defender criticises Priti Patel's 'gesture politics' swipe

Andy Burnham voiced his support for England defender Tyrone Mings on GB News.
Andy Burnham voiced his support for England defender Tyrone Mings on GB News.

Mings claimed Patel had 'stoked the fire' after claiming taking a knee was 'gesture politics'

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Andy Burnham has voiced his support for footballer Tyrone Mings, after the defender criticised Priti Patel for claiming the England team taking a knee was "gesture politics".

Mings hit back at the Home Secretary after she condemned the "vile" racist abuse that a number of Black players had been subjected to, writing on Twitter: “It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.”

The 28-year-old claimed Ms Patel had “stoke(d) the fire” after she previously refused to criticise fans who booed the team for taking the knee in protest against racial injustice.

He said: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”

Speaking to GB News, Mr Burnham said Ms Patel had "adopted" a different tone, adding: "There's a different tone now from the start of the tournament, no doubt about it.

"Tyrone Mings is right to call out politicans when they do that. I would expect to be called out if you're saying on thing one time and doing another.

"If you're blowing dog whistles, the dog start barking. You enabling people to target these players. "Over the last decade, we've had leaders, particularly in the US and here to a degree, that have just allowed stuff to happen when they shouldn't have.

"What leaders do and say really matters as it creates a climate on the streets and affects people's safety.

"This government has been stoking culture wars... I hope they learn from this summer." In her interview with GB News earlier this month, Ms Patel accused the England team of taking part in "gesture politics" for taking a knee, and said fans had a right to boo, adding "that's a choice for them, quite frankly”.

She said: “I just don't support, people participating in that type of gesture politics to a certain extent as well," the Home Secretary said.

"It's all well to support a cause and, you know, make your voices heard, but actually, quite frankly, and we saw last year in particular with some of the the protests that took place, I speak now very much from what I saw and the impact on policing. It was devastating.

“And not only that, I just don't subscribe to this view that we should be rewriting our history, you know, pulling down statues, the famous Colston statue and what's happened there. Toppling statues is not the answer. It's about learning from our past, learning from our history and actually working together.”

Ms Patel refused to respond Mings' latest tweets.