Gary Lineker reinstated as presenter as BBC apologises
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Gary Lineker has hit back at “outrageous and dangerously provocative” comments by a Tory MP. The Match of the Day host took to Twitter once again in response to remarks made by Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis.
During an interview with Channel 4 News last night, Mr Gullis said he was not concerned with upsetting members of the “Twitterati”.
Speaking about the Illegal Migration Bill, the Stoke-on-Trent North MP said: “(It’s) certainly tough and upset all the right people in the right places as far as I’m concerned.
“Let’s be clear, when I talk about upsetting people I’m talking about the Twitterati, the Wokerati of North Islington, those champagne socialists who pontificate all day.
“Those are the people I don’t care upsetting, because those are the people who want to call people up here racist bigots, Nazis, like Gary Lineker has done.”
Responding to the clip, another Twitter user wrote: “I don’t think Gary Lineker has actually directly called Red Wall voters ‘Nazis’ Mr Gullis.”
Mr Lineker retweeted the post and said: “No he hasn’t and never would. This is outrageous and dangerously provocative.”
The football pundit sparked a BBC impartiality row last week after criticising the Government’s new legislation on small boats and comparing language used to launch the policy to that of 1930s Germany.
He was subsequently pulled off air over the weekend, prompting a walkout by his fellow pundits and commentators.
On Monday, BBC director-general Tim Davie announced that the 62-year-old would be returning to present Match Of The Day this Saturday.
Mr Davie apologised for “the potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance” and announced a review of the policy.
He also said Mr Lineker “will abide by the editorial guidelines” until the review is complete.
Since the row, the former England footballer has changed his Twitter profile picture to a photo of himself next to a George Orwell quote, which is written on the wall outside of the BBC.
The quote reads: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
Mr Lineker also retweeted a video of former prime minister Theresa May picking apart the Government’s new asylum seeker policy in the Commons.
The saga has prompted fresh calls from Tory MPs for the BBC licence fee to be scrapped.
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