Conservative activist and prominent Brexiteer Darren Grimes has hit back at Gary Lineker for saying it is brave to “speak out” on racism.
The controversial political commentator, who has become a mainstay on the BBC, tweeted:
“Surely it would be even more courageous to be overtly racist in 2020, an action that in most cases you’d risk losing your job over?
“Down to the brilliant fact that this country really isn’t all that racist at all!”
The comments come after a weekend of far-right protests in London in response to the Black Lives Matter campaign.
More than 100 people were arrested during the course of the march, which was condemned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “racist thuggery”.
There were a number of clashes with police in riot gear as crowds chanting “Tommy Robinson” and “England” while raising their arms surged towards lines of officers.
Outbursts of violence continued around the city after the 5pm deadline had passed, with the last few protesters removed from Parliament Square at around 6.45pm.
Grimes, founded the pro-Brexit group BeLeave, was cleared of breaching spending rules in the EU referendum by the Electoral Commission last year.
The commission had found BeLeave “spent more than £675,000 with (Canadian data firm) Aggregate IQ under a common plan with Vote Leave”, which should have been declared by the latter but was not.
This spending took Vote Leave over its £7 million legal spending limit by almost £500,000.
Following the ruling he said: “I am delighted and relieved that the court has found me innocent.
“This case has taken a huge toll on myself and my family, and I’m thankful it’s now over. I will be eternally grateful to all those people who have supported me – your generosity and kind words of encouragement have kept me going.”