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Tyrone Mings says Priti Patel ‘stoked fire’ of racism by labelling taking knee ‘gesture politics’

England star Tyrone Mings tonight launched an astonishing broadside at Priti Patel by accusing the Home Secretary of ‘stoking the fire’ of racism by labelling the team’s taking of the knee as ‘gesture politics’.

The Three Lions ace said the Conservative minister had ‘no right’ to condemn the online abuse against fellow stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.

The trio faced a barrage of vile comments from racist online trolls after missing penalties in last night’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

Today Ms Patel described the abuse of England’s stars as ‘disgusting’, as she joined the nationwide condemnation of those behind the messages.

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

The Home Secretary had said prior to the tournament that she ‘did not support’ those engaging in ‘that type of gesture politics’, when asked if she supported stars taking the knee.

And she said it was up to fans whether they booed the gesture during England’s Euro 2020 campaign. 

The comments by Mings come as his teammate Rashford today said he was left ‘close to tears’ after well-wishers covered graffiti sprayed on his Manchester mural with loving notes in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache.

Meanwhile, England captain Harry Kane tonight sent his own message to those behind the vile racist abuse of England stars in the wake of last night’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat by saying: ‘We don’t want you.’

The latest in the football racism row comes as:

  • Estate agents Savills launched an investigation over claims a member of staff sent a vile racist message 
  • Roads and railways were deserted as England fans sleep off hangovers or stay at home to mourn loss
  • There was an outpouring of sympathy for Bukayo Saka – a star of the tournament at just 19 – who missed the final penalty having stepped up ahead of more experienced teammates;
  • A security inquest came after riot police were brought into London’s West End after thousands of football fans took to the streets and large crowds attempted to push into the fan zone in Trafalgar Square without tickets;
  • Violence also broke out inside Wembley after dozens of fans with no tickets somehow managed to force their way into the national stadium.
  • Facebook – which owns Instagram – said it tried to remove harmful content as quickly as possible  
  • Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden warned social media firms need to up their game or else the new Online Safety Bill would hold them to account with fines of up to 10 per cent of global revenue
  • Zara Tindall even ‘wiped blood from Wembley seat after husband Mike broke up fight between two England fans in the stands while scores of families described their children being terrified as brawls broke out; 

England star Tyrone Mings (pictured taking the knee during a friendly against Romania in June) tonight launched an astonishing broadside at Priti Patel by accusing the Home Secretary of ‘stoking the fire’ of racism by labelling the team’s taking of the knee as ‘gesture politics’

Prior to the tournament, the Home Secretary had said she ‘did not support’ those engaging in ‘that type of gesture politics’ when asked if she supported stars taking the knee

Both Mr Johnson and Ms Patel took to social media to condemn mindless social media morons who bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho with abuse after the Wembley heartbreak.

Both Mr Johnson and Ms Patel took to social media to condemn mindless social media morons who bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho with abuse after the Wembley heartbreak.

People place messages of support on top of bin liners that were taped over offensive wording on the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington

People place messages of support on top of bin liners that were taped over offensive wording on the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington

Tory MP’s grovelling apology for criticising England ace Rashford 

A Tory backbencher was forced to backtrack today after a horrific own goal attack on England star Marcus Rashford over his missed Euro 2020 penalty.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke suggested the Manchester United star should have practised spot kicks instead of campaigning for free meals for deprived schoolchildren during lockdown.

She made the remark in a Tory MP WhatsApp group after the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 defeat on penalties to Italy at Wembley last night. 

Manchester United striker Rashford was one of three England players to miss in the deciding shoot-out in the Three Lions’ first major final in 55 years.

In a message first revealed by GB News, Mrs Elphicke told other Tories: ‘They lost – would it be ungenerous to suggest Rashford should have spent more time perfecting his game and less time playing politics.(sic)’ 

But today, after her comments were leaked and widely criticised she took to Twitter to heap praise on the team.

‘Last night I shared the frustration and heartbreak of millions of England fans,’ she said.

‘The team gave their all. Congratulations and onwards to the

The comments by Mings comes after the Home Secretary dismissed the stance of England players in taking the knee in the fight for racial equality.

‘I just don’t support people participating in that type of gesture politics,’ Ms Patel said in an interview with GB News.

Asked whether England fans had a right to boo England’s national team, she said: ‘That’s a choice for them quite frankly. I’ve not gone to a football match to even contemplate that.’

The comments from England star Mings follow on from those of Tory peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsie, who responded to Ms Patel’s tweet by saying the the Government needed to ‘think about our role in feeding this culture’.   

She said: ‘Priti – We as govt, as Conservatives, need to think about our role in feeding this culture in our country If we ‘whistle’ and the’dog’ reacts we cant be shocked if it barks and bites.

‘It’s time to stop the culture wars that are feeding division Dog whistles win votes but destroy nations.’

Meanwhile, Downing Street today defended Boris Johnson after he was accused of ‘giving licence’ to racist idiots who abused black England players after the Euro 2020 final.

Labour politicians and party supporter Gary Neville hit out at the Prime Minister’s own record – and that of Home Secretary Priti Patel – amid widespread public revulsion at social media hatred shown towards Three Lions stars who missed penalties in last night’s Euro 2020 defeat.

They highlighted that fact that it is just weeks since Ms Patel slammed players’ who took the knee in an anti-racism protest before games and said fans had a right to boo them for doing so.

Mr Johnson also equivocated over the protest that originated with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US before urging fans not to boo in recent weeks.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner accused Mr Johnson and Ms Patel of acting ‘like arsonists complaining about a fire they poured petrol on’.

And Mr Neville, the Manchester United star turned pundit, said the PM had promoted racism by describing Muslim women as looking like ‘letterboxes’ in a newspaper column before he became Tory leader.

However, the attacks prompted a hard hit back by Downing Street. Mr Johnson’s spokesman told reporters this afternoon that: ‘The Prime Minister was clear that he wanted to see everyone getting behind the team to cheer them on. He made that clear on the 11th, before England’s first game.’

The Prime Minister also went on the offensive tonight. Facing the nation at a Covid press conference he said:  ‘To those who have been directing racist abuse at some of the players I say shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged.

‘Because this entire team played like heroes and I’m sure that this is just the beginning of their achievements, and I say bring on Qatar next year, and let’s also dare to start, together with Ireland, how the United Kingdom can host the World Cup in 2030.’

The Prime Minister also went on the offensive tonight. Facing the nation at a Covid press conference he said: 'To those who have been directing racist abuse at some of the players I say shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged'

The Prime Minister also went on the offensive tonight. Facing the nation at a Covid press conference he said: ‘To those who have been directing racist abuse at some of the players I say shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged’

Labour's Angela Rayner made the incendiary remark amid widespread public revulsion at social media hatred shown towards Three Lions stars who missed penalties in last night's Euro 2020 defeat

Labour’s Angela Rayner made the incendiary remark amid widespread public revulsion at social media hatred shown towards Three Lions stars who missed penalties in last night’s Euro 2020 defeat

England's midfielder Kalvin Phillips and an Italian opponent take the knee before the start of the Euro 2020 final last night at Wembley

England’s midfielder Kalvin Phillips and an Italian opponent take the knee before the start of the Euro 2020 final last night at Wembley 

Instagram tells users monkey emojis ‘DON’T breach rules’ as Twitter removes 1,000 racist posts after appalling abuse of England stars 

Instagram users reporting racist comments directed at black England football stars after last night’s Euro 2020 defeat claim the social media site has failed to remove monkey emojis, because they ‘don’t breach the rules’.

Conscientious social media users have today launched into ‘hour-long’ mass reporting sessions in order to flag the abusive posts – directed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – to moderators.

But the Instagram users say they have since received messages back from the Facebook-owned site saying the posts will not be removed.

The messages from Instagram say the posts reported by the users are ‘not in breach’ of its community guidelines. 

Fans have since taken to Twitter – which revealed it had removed 1,000 racists posts today – to reveal their anger at Instagram’s decision.

One user, Emily May, said on Twitter: ‘I’ve spent an hour today reporting racist accounts. But according to Instagram monkey emojis and the N word are okay.’

Another said: ‘Instagram said that the banana and ape and monkey comments on Saka’s photo weren’t against community guidelines. Come get your algorithm, Instagram.’ 

Today Instagram’s owner Facebook condemned the abuse and said the site was ‘committed to keeping our community safe from abuse’.

It is understood the site takes ‘context’ into account when reviewing content containing emojis that could be ‘mundane’.

But a spokesperson told MailOnline that the emojis ‘definitely do’ breach Instagram’s guidelines when used as they have been against England footballers. 

Meanwhile, Times Radio journalist Kait Borsay, suggested that it may be ‘harder’ for Instagram’s reporting system to pick up the comments as easily due to them being ’emojis’ rather than written words.

Facebook says its automated system may struggle to pick up these emojis, but that, if reported, would be passed to one of its 35,000 moderators to review.

It comes as Twitter today revealed how it has removed more than 1,000 racist posts targeting England football stars following last night’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy at Wembley.

A spokesperson for the social media site said: ‘The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter.

‘In the past 24 hours, through a combination of machine learning based automation and human review, we have swiftly removed over 1,000 Tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts for violating our rules – the vast majority of which we detected ourselves proactively using technology.

‘We will continue to take action when we identify any Tweets or accounts that violate our policies.

‘We have proactively engaged and continue to collaborate with our partners across the football community to identify ways to tackle this issue collectively and will continue to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behaviour – both online and offline.’  

Both Mr Johnson and Ms Patel took to social media this morning to condemn mindless social media morons who bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho with abuse after the Wembley heartbreak. 

England boss Gareth Southgate and Prince William also went public to state the abuse was unacceptable.

But in comments that may lead to accusations of political point scoring by Tory backbenchers Ms Rayner said: ‘The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary gave licence to the racists who booed the England players and are now racially abusing England players.

‘Boris Johnson and Priti Patel are like arsonists complaining about a fire they poured petrol on. Total hypocrites.’

Party leader Keir Starmer later doubled down, telling reporters: ‘This is about leadership, and I’m afraid the Prime Minister has failed the test of leadership because whatever he says today about racism he had a simple choice at the beginning of this tournament in relation to the booing of those who were taking the knee.’ 

Mr Neville, who backed Jeremy Corbyn at the last election, said: ‘The Prime Minister said it was OK for the population of this country to boo those players who were trying to promote equality and defend against racism. It starts at the very top.’ 

Facebook and Instagram this morning said it had tried to remove comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers, but many were still visible this lunchtime.

The huge tech firm insisted: ‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’ 

Damian Green, a Conservative MP and member of the DCMS committee, said he believed it would be ‘not too difficult’ for social media platforms to do more to monitor racist comments made on their websites.

He told BBC’s World at One programme: ‘Their algorithms are incredibly good, and are able to target adverts at every one of their billions of users. 

‘I don’t think it would be that difficult, for example, to check on every use of the monkey emoji, and if it’s being used in an unacceptable context – as clearly it was over the past 24 hours – then take those posts down immediately and see if you can find out who the person who sent them was and get them off your platform.’

Prince William led earlier calls to stop the posts and said he was sickened by racist abuse of the England team, branding vile slurs at players ‘totally unacceptable’.

The Duke of Cambridge, who was at the game last night with Kate and George, called for those behind the messages to be punished. 

The PM echoed the Football Association’s condemnation of those attacking the players after the team lost to Italy.

Mr Johnson said: ‘This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.

‘Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.

Home Secretary Priti Patel also headed up figures slamming the racists.

She said: ‘Players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media.

‘It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.’

A month ago Mr Johnson slapped down Priti Patel after she attacked England’s footballers for taking the knee before games.

The Home Secretary used an interview with GB News to accuse players of ‘gesture politics’ after their symbolic anti-racism protest before beating Croatia at Wembley.  

She also refused to criticise fans at the Euro 2020 opener who booed the team when they made the symbolic anti-racism gesture before kick-off.  

Ms Patel said it was ‘choice for them’ after Gareth Southgate’s side faced jeers from a minority of fans before the game, which they went on to win 1-0. 

But the PM has faced accusations that he was earlier  equivocal over the booing by England fans.

A few days beforehand his official spokesman declined to condemn those who booed players, only going so far as urging them to be ‘respectful’.

It came as a Tory MP was forced to backtrack today after a horrific own goal attack on England star Marcus Rashford over his missed Euro 2020 penalty.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke suggested the Manchester United star should have practised spot kicks instead of campaigning for free meals for deprived schoolchildren during lockdown.

She made the remark in a Tory MP WhatsApp group after the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 defeat on penalties to Italy at Wembley last night. 

Ms Rayner Labour’s deputy leader, added: ‘While the country was commiserating our great team, Tory MPs were sneering at an inspirational player who stepped up to feed hungry kids when they voted to leave them without food.

‘Whether it’s their failure to support the vulnerable, or booing our boys after they have done our whole country proud, the Nasty Party is back.

‘The question every Conservative MP needs to answer is – did they call out these appalling comments? 

‘And after his failure to support our players in their stance against racism, Boris Johnson must publicly condemn these disgraceful messages. Whose side is he on, the lion hearts on the pitch or the Tory MPs who attack them.’

EXCLUSIVE – Pictured: Savills estate agent who claims his Twitter account was ‘hacked’ after being suspended over vile racist tweet about England stars who missed penalties 

By Dan Sales for MailOnline 

Estate agents Savills have suspended a member of staff after he was linked to a racist social media post abusing England players – which he said happened after his account was hacked.

Andrew Bone, a Commercial Building Manager, has called the police over the tweet, which used a foul racist term which caused widespread revulsion.

His employers Savills confirmed today they had suspended him pending the outcome of the force’s investigation.

Mr Bone’s Twitter profile – which he said had fallen under the control of a different malicious individual – vanished after the furore erupted.

His stepfather Robert Dutson told MailOnline: ‘He didn’t post the remark. His account has been hacked.

‘He has contacted the police about it. They are looking into it now. ‘He started getting comments saying he was racist.

‘That is not him. He is not a racist. The tweet appears to have come from a device not used by this account before.’

Savills said: ‘Savills confirms that the staff member connected with the racist comments placed on Twitter claims that his account was taken over by a third party and that the matter is being referred to the Greater Manchester Police. 

Savills employee Andrew Bone has been suspended and says his Twitter was hacked

Savills employee Andrew Bone has been suspended and says his Twitter was hacked

Mr Bone called in police over the tweet, which he said happened after his account was hacked

Mr Bone called in police over the tweet, which he said happened after his account was hacked

The post in question attracted widespread revulsion and condemnation today

The post in question attracted widespread revulsion and condemnation today 

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka (pictured), 19: 'Go back to Nigeria.' While another said: 'Get out my country'

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka (pictured), 19: ‘Go back to Nigeria.’ While another said: ‘Get out my country’

Marcus Rashford puts his face in his hands after missing his penalty by striking the post

Jadon Sancho puts his head in his hands after he failed to score in the penalty shoot out in tonight's Euro 2020 final

Marcus Rashford, left, and Jadon Sancho have their heads in their hands after missing their kicks

‘Savills has acted swiftly and confirms that the individual is suspended from duty pending the findings of this investigation, which is being progressed as a priority.

‘Savills has a policy of zero tolerance on any form of racial abuse or discrimination.’

Mr Bone lives in a two-bedroom terrace house in Sale, Cheshire, that he bought for £242,500 in September last year.

Prince William this morning said he was sickened by racist abuse of the England team, describing vile slurs at players as ‘totally unacceptable’.

The Duke of Cambridge, who was at the game last night, called for those behind the messages to be punished.

And William – who is president of the FA – said the appalling remarks had to be stamped out for good.

He said: ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.

‘It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.’ 

The Royal’s remark is the most high-profile intervention so far after Prime Minister Boris Johnson this morning condemned the mindless racists who bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho with abuse. 

Meanwhile, England captain Harry Kane took to Twitter to condemn the abuse, saying those behind it were ‘not England fans’ and that we ‘don’t want you’.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed they will be investigating the abuse

The Metropolitan Police confirmed they will be investigating the abuse

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

Another Tweeter denies racist post 

A father-of-two has denied tweeting racist comments calling for England ace Marcus Rashford to ‘burn his MBE’ – claiming his Twitter account was hacked.

Nick Scott, 50, denied tweeting: ‘@MarcusRashford that MBE needs burning ya fake. Pack them bags and get to ya own country.’

The tweet was posted at 10.56pm on Sunday – just minutes after the 23-year-old Manchester United striker missed from the spot in the nail-biting penalty shoot-out.

The vile tweet came from Mr Scott’s Twitter page Scottywwfc which is based in Worcester.

It was followed up at 12.43am on Monday with a tweet which read: ‘i need to apologise @MarcusRashford but im still very angry. but not with you..’

The tweet attracted more than 500 replies from outraged football fans demanding the author be banned from ever watching or taking part in the sport.

Today Mr Scott, of Malvern, Worcs., denied sending the tweet, claiming his account had been hacked.

He said: ‘I’ve had to delete my account this morning because I was hacked.

‘I would never tweet anything like that. I’m just a football fan.’ 

 

The England and Tottenham Hotspur striker, sharing a picture of the Three Lions shoulder-to-shoulder, said: ‘Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a penalty when the stakes were high. 

‘They deserve support & backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.’

It came as Savills estate agent launched an investigation after claims a member of staff had been behind one of the messages.

A spokesperson said: ‘Savills abhors and has zero tolerance to any form of racism and racial discrimination and is appalled by the racist comments in these tweets.

‘Savills is immediately investigating and will take appropriate action.’

The PM today echoed the Football Association’s condemnation of those attacking the players after the team lost to Italy. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.

‘Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.’

And he upped his comments later in the day, adding: ‘Shame on you – I hope you crawl back under the stone from which you emerged’ to the racist trolls.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel also headed up figures slamming the racists.

She said: ‘Players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media.

‘It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.’

It came as police began hunting the racists behind some of the vile social media posts.

The horrific comments, including the use of monkey emojis and racist language such as n****r , have led to the FA condemning its racist fans and saying they are not ‘welcome in following in the team’ and the Metropolitan Police has confirmed its officers will be investigating. 

While thousands rallied to support the players, especially Saka, who lit up the tournament for England at the age of just 19. 

What have social media sites said about racist abuse aimed at England’s players? 

Facebook – which also owns Instagram

A spokesperson for the Facebook Company told MailOnline: ‘No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram. 

‘We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules. 

‘In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs.

‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’ 

Twitter

A spokesperson for the social media site said: ‘The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter.

‘In the past 24 hours, through a combination of machine learning based automation and human review, we have swiftly removed over 1,000 Tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts for violating our rules – the vast majority of which we detected ourselves proactively using technology.

‘We will continue to take action when we identify any Tweets or accounts that violate our policies.

‘We have proactively engaged and continue to collaborate with our partners across the football community to identify ways to tackle this issue collectively and will continue to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behaviour – both online and offline.’  

Calling on those behind the abuse to face arrest and prosecution, one fan said: ‘I’ll take these three Englishmen over any racist-moron-fake-fan every day of the week and twice on a Sunday’.

Another wrote: ‘I stand with Rashford. I stand with Sancho. I stand with Saka. I stand with a whole team of brilliant men who made us all proud & represent the best this country has to offer I reject everything about the Racists & Shape Shifters who represent the worst’.

Racist social media users instantly took to the accounts of the three black players who missed penalties in last night’s clash against Italy. 

The players’ Instagram and Twitter feeds were subjected to a barrage of racist imagery including monkey and banana emojis, as well as written comments packed with horrifying slurs.  

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka, 19: ‘Go back to Nigeria.’ While another said: ‘Get out my country.’ And another wrote: ‘Take banana n****r.’  And another, seemingly in support of the Italians, said: ‘It’s coming Rome!!! F****** n****r.’

Another user wrote, ‘Foreigners are stupid,’ seemingly choosing to ignore that Saka was born in Ealing, west London. 

In response to the deluge of racist comments and FA spokesman made it clear that racists are not wanted in football. 

A spokesman said: ‘The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media.

‘We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.

‘We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences. 

‘Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.’ 

And the Metropolitan Police confirmed they will be investigating the abuse and said: ‘We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final.  

Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: 'The Government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants'

Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: ‘The Government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants’

Boris Johnson ‘totally rejects’ accusation his past behaviour provoked racist abuse of black England players 

Downing Street defended Boris Johnson today after he was accused of ‘giving license’ to racist idiots who abused black England players after the Euro 2020 final.

Labour politicians and party supporter Gary Neville hit out at the Prime Minister’s own record – and that of Home Secretary Priti Patel – amid widespread public revulsion at social media hatred shown towards Three Lions stars who missed penalties in last night’s Euro 2020 defeat.

They highlighted that fact that it is just weeks since Ms Patel slammed players’ who took the knee in an anti-racism protest before games and said fans had a right to boo them for doing so.

Mr Johnson also equivocated over the protest that originated with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US before urging fans not to boo in recent weeks.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner accused Mr Johnson and Ms Patel of acting ‘like arsonists complaining about a fire they poured petrol on’.

And Mr Neville, the Manchester United star turned pundit, said the PM had promoted racism by describing Muslim women as looking like ‘letterboxes’ in a newspaper column before he became Tory leader.

However, the attacks prompted a hard hit back by Downing Street. Mr Johnson’s spokesman told reporters this afternoon that: ‘The Prime Minister was clear that he wanted to see everyone getting behind the team to cheer them on. He made that clear on the 11th, before England’s first game.’

The Prime Minister also went on the offensive tonight. Facing the nation at a Covid press conference he said: ‘To those who have been directing racist abuse at some of the players I say shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged.

‘Because this entire team played like heroes and I’m sure that this is just the beginning of their achievements, and I say bring on Qatar next year, and let’s also dare to start, together with Ireland, how the United Kingdom can host the World Cup in 2030.’

 

‘This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.’

Twitter today revealed how it has removed more than 1,000 racist posts targeting England football stars following last night’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy at Wembley.

A spokesperson for the social media site said: ‘The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter.

‘In the past 24 hours, through a combination of machine learning based automation and human review, we have swiftly removed over 1,000 Tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts for violating our rules – the vast majority of which we detected ourselves proactively using technology.

‘We will continue to take action when we identify any Tweets or accounts that violate our policies.

‘We have proactively engaged and continue to collaborate with our partners across the football community to identify ways to tackle this issue collectively and will continue to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behaviour – both online and offline.’

Facebook condemned the abuse as ‘abhorrent’, saying they have taken steps to remove the posts and encouraged people to use filters to block out harmful content.

A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram.

Meanwhile, social media firms were today told to get a grip on racist abuse or face punitive action in the wake of sickening abuse aimed at black England footballers. 

Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: ‘The racist abuse of England players online is repellent and vile.

‘Perpetrators should be getting a knock on the door from the police and facing the full force of the law.

‘Social media companies once alerted to this abuse have an acute responsibility to immediately take it down.

‘The Government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants. Enough of the foot dragging, all those who suffer at the hand of racists, not just England players, deserve better protections now.’  

England players have taken the knee to support anti-racism drives throughout the tournament, a move that has drawn vocal criticism and boos from a section of their support. 

In turn the FA and senior players have attacked the boo-boys in the stands, stating their actions are precisely why the team feels a need to make a stand against racism. 

England lost the penalty shootout 3-2 after the match finished 1-1 after extra time.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk