Gary Lineker mocks Tim Davie’s BBC social media crackdown: Outspoken MOTD host says he’s not terrified of director general’s warning after continuing to send highly political tweets to his 7.6m followers
- Vocal MOTD presenter suggested he was not worried by Tim Davie’s crackdown
- He replied ‘Nah’ to a tweet implying he was ‘terrified’ of the BBC anti-bias drive
- Mr Davie is planning a radical shake-up to dispel accusations of partiality
Gary Lineker has appeared to shrug off the new BBC director-general’s warning to employees to cut out political tweeting.
The vocal Match of the Day presenter suggested he was not worried by Tim Davie’s anti-bias drive, which seems to have landed with many of his colleagues who have reined in their social media.
He replied ‘nah’ in response to suggestions he should be ‘terrified’ of the clampdown.
Mr Davie is planning a radical shake-up of the national broadcaster to dispel bruising accusations of partiality that dogged his predecessor and have thrown the BBC’s future into question.
In a debut speech yesterday he said: ‘If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media then that is a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC.’
Gary Lineker (pictured on a video stressing the benefits of refugees) has appeared to shrug off the new BBC director-general’s warning to employees to cut out political tweeting in an anti-bias dive
Mr Davie is planning a radical shake-up of the national broadcaster to dispel bruising accusations of partiality that dogged his predecessor and have thrown the BBC’s future into question
His impartiality drive had been widely reported before he took charge and many BBC journalists, typically active on social media, rowed back their tweeting.
Yet Lineker, who was on a £1.75million salary but has offered to take a pay cut, has ploughed ahead with tweeting politicised content which has recently centered on his support for refugees.
Migrant numbers has long been a thorny issue and ministers have been grappling with record numbers of Channel crossings this summer.
Lineker yesterday posted a video stressing the benefits of refugees to British society, and even revealed he would be prepared to have one with live with him.
He retweeted a message which read: ‘It’s easier not to talk about this subject due to far-right Twitter’s constant attacks. But we must. Truth must outweigh perception & prejudice.’
He replied ‘nah’ in response to suggestions he should be ‘terrified’ of the clampdown
The post came before Mr Davie’s hard-hitting speech, but Lineker later appeared to brush aside the new director-general’s warning.
Referencing a Telegraph column arguing Lineker should be ‘terrified of Tim Davie’s speech’, one journalist at the paper tweeted the ex-England star and said it ‘must be a double pants moment’ for him – to which Lineker replied ‘nah.’
This week, he also took a swipe at Donald Trump, claiming ‘he’s a few tins short of 57 varieties.’
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told MailOnline: ‘I think licence fee payers will be shocked the Gary Linkeker is the highest remunerated person employed by the BBC.
‘If Gary Lineker wants to get in to politics as he seems to inspire to do so, then he’s perfectly entitled to do that.
‘But I can promise it doesn’t pay as well as working for the BBC. He’ll have to be prepared to take a huge pay cut!’
He also said the online anti-bias drive does not go far enough to tackle the fundamental flaws blighting the Corporation.
The MP said: ‘I think that Tim Davie’s plan to prevent BBC employees expressing political opinions on social media is a step in the right direction, but that will never in itself remove the intrinsic and entrenched political bias in the organisation.’
Mr Davie’s remarks followed controversies over impartiality, including Newsnight host Emily Maitlis sparking a furore with a monologue on the Dominic Cummings lockdown row.
The BBC later said the episode ‘did not meet our standards of due impartiality’.
BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty was also rebuked last year after commenting on remarks made by US President Donald Trump.