Gary Lineker comes under fire for his political tweets

Gary Lineker comes under fire for his political tweets

Gary Lineker, host of Match of the Day, has recently come under fire for his political tweets, with critics claiming that they breach BBC’s strict impartiality rules.

Lineker faces an uncertain future as BBC bosses grapple with what to do about him, given that he is their highest-paid star, earning £1.35 million per year.

Despite the calls for him to be sacked, Lineker has defiantly continued tweeting about politically-charged topics, claiming he has never received such “love and support” before and that he will continue to speak up.

This is not the first time that Lineker has voiced his political opinions on Twitter, with previous tweets on Brexit and illegal immigrants leading to spats with BBC colleagues. In this article, MailOnline looks back at Lineker’s string of gaffes and outbursts over the years.

In March 2023, Lineker likened the migrant crackdown to Nazi Germany, calling Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s measures to stop small boats “beyond awful” and “an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s.”

He also appeared to mock Rishi Sunak’s landmark EU deal over Northern Ireland in February 2023, writing, “So we’re getting Brexit done… again.”

In February 2023, Lineker shared a video that called for illegal immigrants arriving on small boats to be granted citizenship.

He wrote, “Why leave them to fester in a hotel with the far-Right screaming abuse at them? Give them legal status and get them going.”

Earlier that month, Lineker posted from an airport arrivals queue, writing, “Another monster queue at customs at a European city next to deserted lanes for EU members. The delights of Brexit.”

Lineker has also been criticized for retweeting a post in January 2023 calling Home Secretary Suella Braverman “utterly devoid of sensibility” after her exchange with a Holocaust survivor.

Then-culture secretary Michelle Donelan commented on the remarks made by Lineker during an interview with The News Agents podcast, saying that the BBC should be “conscious” of them.

In October 2022, Lineker breached BBC impartiality rules with a social media post criticising the Tories, the broadcaster’s complaints team ruled.

The Match of the Day host quoted an article about Liz Truss, then foreign secretary, urging Premier League teams to boycott the Champions League final in Russia, and added, “And her party will hand back their donations from Russian donors?”.

BBC boss Tim Davie said in September 2022 that reining in Lineker’s tweeting was a “work in progress.” In August 2022, Lineker sparked a row with senior BBC journalist Neil Henderson with a tweet about sewage.

He later received criticism from ex-racing driver turned Sky commentator Martin Brundle over his response to a Just Stop Oil protest in July 2022.

In December 2018, Lineker drew criticism from fellow BBC colleague Jonathan Agnew for his politically-charged outbursts on social media about Brexit.

Agnew claimed that Lineker was breaching BBC impartiality and that he would have been sacked for such views.

In October 2016, Lineker was also criticized for his stance on child refugees, with some accusing him of breaching BBC impartiality guidelines.

Lineker’s recent tweets have reignited the debate over the extent to which BBC presenters should be able to express their political opinions on social media.

Given the corporation’s strict impartiality rules, Lineker’s future at the BBC remains uncertain.

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