Breaking news from Gary Lineker: BBC confirms date presenter will return to Match of the Day after apology
Downing Street calls Gary Lineker’s criticism of asylum policy ‘unacceptable’
The BBC has confirmed that Gary Lineker will resume live coverage of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Burnley FC.
It comes after the company announced the return of its star presenter and apologized for the disruption caused by the decision to cancel Lineker.
Gary Lineker thanked his supporters and made another statement on small boats.
He wrote: “One last thought: as difficult as the last few days have been, it is simply not comparable to having to flee your homeland from persecution or war to seek refuge in a country far away. It is heartwarming to see the empathy of so many of you for your plight.”
BBC confirmed the star presenter will be returning to the company and an internal independent review of its social media policies will be launched.
It comes as BBC chairman Richard Sharp faces mounting calls for his resignation amid the row that has sparked an unprecedented crisis at the company.
Downing Street refuses to say whether Rishi Sunak has faith in Tim Davie
A Downing Street spokesman declined to say whether the Prime Minister trusts Tim Davie after the row over Gary Lineker, stressing that the choice of the BBC’s chief executive is a company matter.
“The Director-General is appointed by the BBC and is their business.”
“I’m just pointing out that he was appointed by the BBC and it’s their business,” the spokesman said when pressed by reporters.
When asked about the Prime Minister’s position on the royalty, the spokesman said: “We remain committed to the royalty for the remainder of the current charter. However, we recognized that the BBC’s funding model faces major challenges due to the changing way people consume media.
“And there is a need to look for ways to ensure long-term sustainability.”
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 1:50 p.m
Richard Sharp’s position is “becoming increasingly untenable,” says Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer has described BBC chairman Richard Sharp’s position as “increasingly untenable” in the Gary Lineker dispute.
Speaking to broadcasters ahead of the news that the Match Of The Day presenter will return to the show, the Labor leader said: “I think Richard Sharp’s position is increasingly untenable.
“I think most people seeing the complete mess of the past few days would say how on earth is he still in position and Gary Lineker got taken off the air?
“This is a mess the BBC made themselves, they need to sort it out and sort it out quickly.”
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 1:35 p.m
Let’s recap: What did Gary Lineker actually say?
Last Tuesday, Lineker tweeted about a video in which Home Secretary Suella Braverman revealed plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel on small boats, saying the UK was “overwhelmed”.
Ms Braverman, previously chastised for comparing migrant crossings to an “invasion”, has been heavily criticized for her use of language on the matter.
“Gosh this is beyond horrible,” Lineker wrote in response to the video.
Another Twitter user described his comment to the sports channel as “not okay,” adding that it’s “easy to preach when it doesn’t concern you.”
Lineker replied, “There is not a large influx. We take in far fewer refugees than other large European countries.
“This is just immeasurably cruel policy aimed at the weakest, in language not unlike that of Germany in the ’30s, and I’m out of order?”
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 1:20 p.m
What is the BBC’s impartiality policy and does it apply to Gary Lineker?
The BBC says it is “committed” to achieving due impartiality in all its findings, calling it “fundamental to our reputation, values and audience confidence”.
The company’s policies state that impartiality “must be reasonable and appropriate to the issue, taking into account the subject matter and nature of the content, the likely expectations of the audience, and any signage that may affect that expectation.”
It adds that the BBC’s edition must always “challenge arguments, challenge consensus and hold power accountable”, both consistently and with due impartiality.
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 1:05 p.m
How Much Does Gary Lineker Get Paid?
In 2022, Lineker topped the BBC’s highest-earning list for the fifth year running, taking home £1.35million.
The year before he was paid £1.36million after taking a pay cut in 2020 from his previous salary of £1.75million. Lineker has presented Match of the Day since 1999, making it the show’s longest-running host.
The second highest paid BBC broadcaster last year was Zoe Ball at £980,000. Steve Wright – whose Radio 2 show ended in September after 24 years – followed with £450,000, the same amount as Lineker’s Match of the Day co-host Alan Shearer.
Read the full story below:
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 12:50 p.m
8 times the BBC has not fined presenters for sharing political views
After questions arose over whether Gary Lineker’s use of social media had breached the BBC’s impartiality rules, the company decided he would not be hosting Saturday’s (11 March) Match of the Day.
It was announced on Monday (March 13) that Lineker would be returning for the upcoming episode after the MOTD aired on Saturday with no comment or analysis.
The decision to temporarily remove Lineker from his broadcasting duties has led some to look back to earlier times when public figures linked to the BBC expressed personal opinions on politics but were not penalized in the same way.
Read the full story below from my colleague Nicole Vassell:
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 12:36
Downing Street declined to endorse BBC chairman Richard Sharp
Downing Street declined to back the under-fire BBC leader Richard Sharp, who is under renewed scrutiny amid the Gary Lineker row.
Rishi Sunak previously declined to endorse Mr Sharp’s character or integrity.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister said the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments has announced a review of this competition process to approve the BBC’s Chair to ensure the process has been carried out in accordance with the Rules.
“We will await the outcome of that review and will of course provide any assistance with that process, but it is for that review to investigate.”
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 12:19 p.m
BBC boss ‘respects staff views’
Tim Davie said he “respects the views” of BBC Sport staff after presenters, pundits and commentators refused to go on the air over the weekend after Gary Lineker was asked to withdraw from the Match Of The Day.
The company’s chief executive was asked if he was no longer in touch after reduced sports programming was shown instead, and he told BBC News: “[Sports presenters]have obviously been put in a very difficult situation.
“I think the people at the BBC … are all very passionate about our reputation as an impartial broadcaster, which is so important in this world, and this affair shows you how polarized the debate has become.
“I want to fight for a BBC where we can debate in peace (and) allow free speech.”
When asked about the Conservative Party’s pressure on the BBC, Mr Davie said it “is not how we work at the company” and the guidelines on impartiality are applied “equally” to those with left and right-wing views to express.
He added: “The viewership figures in terms of trust in the BBC… are fine.”
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 12:02
The BBC board said in a statement: “The board welcomes the fact that the executive has reached an agreement after the weekend was suspended.
“Impartiality is a cornerstone of the BBC. We believe this is the right time to address the clarity of the BBC’s Social Media Guidelines and how they are applied.
“We will support the executive as they continue to ensure the organization is delivering quality, impartial content to all audiences.”
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 11:45 am
Gary Lineker refused to answer questions from reports as he left his home
Gary Lineker refused to answer reporters’ questions as he left his home in Barnes, south west London, on Monday morning after his return to the BBC was announced.
The Match Of The Day host walked his dog and told reporters: “I’ve already said what I’m going to say on Twitter.
“If I say anything else now, it just encourages people to get out the front door.”
Mr Lineker refused to answer when asked: “Do you stand by what you said?”, “Did you win?”, “Is this a common sense win?” and “Did Tim Davie personally apologize to you?”
As photographers took photos, he said, “Exactly, that’s enough – you have your pictures.”
Thomas KingsleyMarch 13, 2023 11:30 am
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gary-lineker-tweets-richard-sharp-immigration-b2299506.html Breaking news from Gary Lineker: BBC confirms date presenter will return to Match of the Day after apology