Gary Lineker launches Twitter attack on Dominic Cummings despite BBC colleague Simon McCoy slamming him for ‘abusing his position’ and breaking impartiality by accusing PM of lying
- Boris Johnson stood by top aide despite allegations of him breaking lockdown
- As the PM defended Dominic Cummings, Lineker tweeted: ‘Please. Stop. Lying.’
- Simon McCoy suggested that he’d breached BBC rules on impartiality
- But Lineker hit back, saying that does not apply to sports journalists
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Gary Lineker has launched a Twitter attack on Dominic Cummings despite his BBC colleague Simon McCoy slamming him for ‘abusing his position’ and breaking impartiality by accusing the PM of lying.
The news anchor hit out at the sports pundit after Lineker sounded off about Boris Johnson’s coronavirus briefing last night.
The Prime Minister last night stood by chief advisor Dominic Cummings despite allegations he broke lockdown rules three times.
Simon McCoy (left) has attacked Gray Lineker (right) for his tweet during the press conference
As Johnson claimed his top aide had acted responsibly by driving from London to Durham, Lineker tweeted: ‘Please. Stop. Lying.’
McCoy hit out at the presenter by suggesting that sharing his opinion on social media undermined BBC impartiality rules.
He said: ‘Please. Stop. If you speak for yourself – write a letter. If you’re speaking for BT Sport – up to you.
‘But if you are speaking with your BBC hat on – you are abusing a position which puts BBC journalists in an impossible position.’
Lineker refused to back down and told the news anchor that it was he who did not understand the broadcaster’s rules for staff.
‘Check the rules,’ he said. ‘That only applies to those who work in news or current affairs. I speak for me. No one else. Good day.’
McCoy took to Twitter the following morning and appeared to apologise to Lineker.
He said: ‘I clearly got this wrong. I apologise to you Gary.’
In response, Lineker said: ‘Apology accepted, Simon. No problem at all.’
But today Lineker took aim once more at Cummings, speculating as to whether he’d use this afternoon’s press conference to resign so that he can see his family ‘all over the country’.
It isn’t the first time the Match of the Day host has hit out at the Government over Cummings’ trip to Durham.
When the news broke, he tweeted: ‘Rules are made to be broken. Hard therefore not to conclude that lockdown is broken.’
He also said: ‘Not sure how this Dom com will end. This, though, should not be about what party you support. It shouldn’t be about whether you’re leave or remain.
‘None of that should matter one iota. This is about right and wrong. This is about the truth. This is about trust.’
It comes after BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg faced anger after she appeared to defend Dominic Cummings.
Within 30 minutes of the allegations of lockdown flouting breaking, Kuenssberg shared a rebuttal from an unnamed source claiming that the trip to Durham was ‘within [the] guidelines’.
Laura Kuenssberg faced fierce criticism yesterday after appearing to defend Dominic Cummings following reports that he had flouted lockdown rules
The tweet said: ‘Source says his trip was within guidelines as Cummings went to stay with his parents so they could help with childcare while he and his wife were ill – they insist no breach of lockdown’.
Her reply was immediately met by a chorus of condemnation, with some branding her a ‘mouthpiece for the Government’ and a ‘Tory stooge’.
Piers Morgan said the explanation was ‘absolute nonsense’, and ex-Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell demanded Miss Kuenssberg ‘get a grip’ for repeatedly relying on ‘sources close to Dominic Cummings’.
Philosopher A. C. Grayling also took issue, tweeting: ‘It’s time to end anonymous ‘No 10 source’ (=Cummings) briefings (=to Laura Kuenssberg) =lies, propaganda, spin, dead cats etc.’