Sir Keir Starmer has thrown his weight behind sacked Arsenal mascot Gunnersaurus and called for his return to the club.
A spokesperson for Starmer, an Arsenal season ticket holder, said today that the Labour leader was “disappointed” by the club’s decision to axe its iconic mascot and the man who plays him – Jerry Quy.
Quy was made redundant by Arsenal earlier this week on the same day it shelled out £45m to buy Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey.
Quy has donned the Gunnersaurus costume since 1993 , making the green dinosaur a much loved figure around the world.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil said yesterday that he would be willing to pay Quy’s salary to keep him at the club.
Starmer’s spokesperson said he supported Özil’s offer and said “that’s the kind of message footballer should be sending”.
“Keir is a passionate supporter of Arsenal and he was disappointed by the club’s decision,” the spokesperson said.
“Football is our national sport and all football clubs should send messages, particularly to people in this difficult time.
“People take a dim view of people making hard working staff redundant on the same day they make multi million pound transfers.”
Starmer is a diehard supporter of Arsenal and a regular five-a-side player.
A New Statesman profile of the Labour leader released this year said he played as a box-to-box midfielder and had the nickname “chopper Starmer”.
Starmer’s spokesperson said the Labour leader “would love to go back to the Emirates [Stadium] this season when it is safe to do so”.