Lineker back on MOTD after BBC offer grovelling apology

Gary Lineker will return to the Match of the Day (MOTD) studio after the BBC issued a grovelling apology.

The 62 year old presenter of the BBC’s flagship football programme was told to step down last week after he criticised the Conservative Party’s brutal immigration policy.

Since then, the former England, Leicester City, Everton, and Tottenham Hotspur striker received an overwhelming amount of support for taking the moral high ground after he refused to back down and apologise for his comments.

The BBC claims to be impartial but it is flooded with several highly influential partisan Tory Party members and donors who use the platform to get their political points across.

BBC chairman Richard Sharp donated £400,000 to the Conservative Party in the past and helped to arrange an £800,000 loan for the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson while Sir Robbie Gibb is a member of the BBC board. Gibb was the former communications director for another former PM, Theresa May.

The Apprentice’s Alan Sugar was very critical of Jeremy Corbyn during his term as leader of the Labour Party while Michael Portillo is another former Tory employed by the BBC who uses his platform to get his political points across.

Today, the BBC issued an apology for the chaos caused by the Lineker row and made known there will be an internal review into their impartiality rules.

BBC Director General Tim Davie, a lifelong Conservative Party member, issued a statement. It said…

“Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this.

“The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sports content back on the air.

“Impartiality is important to the BBC. It is also important to the public. The BBC has a commitment to impartiality in its Charter and a commitment to freedom of expression. That is a difficult balancing act to get right where people are subject to different contracts and on-air positions, and with a different audience and social media profiles.

“The BBC’s social media guidance is designed to help manage these sometimes difficult challenges and I am aware there is a need to ensure that the guidance is up to this task. It should be clear, proportionate, and appropriate.

“Accordingly, we are announcing a review led by an independent expert – reporting to the BBC – on its existing social media guidance, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside news and current affairs.

“The BBC and myself are aware that Gary is in favour of such a review.

“Shortly, the BBC will announce who will conduct that review. Whilst this work is undertaken, the BBC’s current social media guidance remains in place.

“Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend.”

Lineker responded to Davie’s statement on Twitter. He said…

“After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.

“I have been presenting sport on the BBC for almost three decades and am immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world. I cannot wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday.

“A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you.

“We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you.”

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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