A week before the 2022 World Cup kicked off in Qatar, comedian Lycett had threatened to shred £10,000 of his own cash if David Beckham didn’t walk away from a deal to be an ambassador for Qatar during the tournament, rumoured to be worth around £10m.
Homosexuality is illegal in the country and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished with up to seven years in prison. Lycett warned Beckham that he would not only shred the money but also the sportsman’s reputation as an LGBTQ+ ally.
After Beckham didn’t respond, Lycett released a video of himself seemingly shredding the money on the first day of the World Cup (Sunday 20 November), but he later explained that what came out of the shredder was fake, and that he’d already donated the money to LGBTQ+ charities.
But Starmer wasn’t up to date with the latest twist in the tale, and when he mentioned the story in Parliament, seemed to suggest that the stunt was a protest against QatarEnergy.
“You may have seen this week that somebody shredded £10,000 in protest at those propping up an oil and gas giant,” Starmer said.
“But he [Prime Minister Rishi Sunak] shreds £10,000 every other minute propping them up.
“Which does he think is the more absurd?”
Posting a clip of the moment on Twitter, Lycett wrote: “Not quite what happened but fair play.”
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) November 23, 2022
Beckham has faced condemnation from many celebrities for his decision to promote Qatar.
On Wednesday (23 November), Will Young shared his outrage at the former footballer on Instagram, calling the lucrative deal “odious” and urging Beckham to donate money to queer charities.