Gary Lineker has been embroiled in a war of words over Ukip’s new logo
Gary Lineker was today branded a ‘sanctimonious little twerp’ by a Ukip spokesman after he suggested the party swiped their new lion logo design from the Premier League.
The party has been accused of ‘ripping off’ the football division’s iconic purple lion for its new logo which it unveiled at their conference today.
The Premier League are consulting their lawyers amid speculation Ukip’s new logo could infringe copyright laws.
The Match of the Day presenter mocked the party online by posting a link to the two logos side by side and sarcastically adding ‘the Premier League will be happy’ with an eyes rolling emoji.
The former footballer has been dragged into a war of words with Ukip party bosses over his Twitter post.
The party spokesman hit back at the football star, describing him as a ‘sanctimonious little twerp’.
He added: Gary Linekar is ‘an extremely well known sanctimonious, well paid TV celebrity who has his own opinions.’
The Ukip spokesman, who jokingly referred to the lion as ‘Flossie’, said the logo ‘is not a rip off – it’s the internationally recognised symbol of this country. It is the British lion.’
But in a war of words, the footballer hit back on Twitter saying he is ‘working hard on having someone else’s opinion’.
The Ukip spokesman also insisted they have checked he logo does not infringe copyright telling reporters ‘We are not that stupid’.
Ukip have been accused of ‘stealing’ their proposed new logo from the Premier League
The row threatens to plunge the party into legal woes if the top flight footballing division decides to mount legal action against the party for using the design.
The party leadership unveiled two designs for the party membership to vote on, the other being a sweeping purple an yellow design.
But the lion logo was the overwhelming favourite with members and is expected to be unveiled the winner later today.
Meanwhile, social media has erupted with people mocking Ukip for ‘stealing’ their new logo.
Former footballer Gary Linekar joined in the mockery of the new Ukip design, which was unveiled at the conference today
Lots of other Twitter users joined in the fun online, with Aman Thakar writing: ‘I’m sure the @premierleague are delighted about UKIP stealing their logo.’
Another wrote: ‘Why have Ukip stolen the @premierleague logo?’
But Ukip chairman Paul Oakden has said he is ‘not worried’ about the party logo’s resemblance to that of the Premier League, which also depicts a lion.
He told the BBC’s Daily Politics: ‘No I’m not worried. For a start, I don’t mind Ukip being associated with the Premier League…
‘If they [the Premier League] feel they have a right to take legal action I’m sure they’ll consult with their lawyers.
‘We did our due diligence before we put these logos to the membership and as I said, we are perfectly comfortable’.
Ian Penman, a partner with the Mayfair-based media law firm New Media Law told the Mail Online it is ‘blatantly obvious’ where Ukip got their logo from.
But he said the slight variations in design mean it would be hard for the Premier league to be able to sue them for copyright.
He said: ‘They have clearly taken that logo as their inspiration and come up with something very similar.’
Anti Islam campaigner Anne Marie Waters is the bookies favourite to be announced Ukip leader today. Many of the party’s MEPs say they will quit if she is elected
The party is undergoing a rebrand in a bid to reach out to new voters after their General Election disaster – which saw their vote plummet from for million to just 600,000.
Meanwhile, the party is braced for a mass walkout of its MEPs and party figures if an extreme anti-slam campaigner is elected today.
Anne Marie Waters, who has branded Islam ‘evil’ and worked with ex activists from the BNP and English Defence League, is the bookies favourite to win.
The 40 year-old has described Islam as a ‘killing machine’, called for a freeze on immigration and demanded mosques are shut down.
But her strident views have sparked horror among many of her party colleagues and could see the Ukip split for good.
Many in Ukip fear she will turn it into a BNP-style party, and 18 of the party’s 20 MEPs and several senior party figures have said they will quit in disgust if she is elected.