‘What is the alternative view to feeding hungry kids, Guy?’: BBC commentator Guy Mowbray QUITS Twitter after being ‘hounded’ online over his ‘impartial’ Match of the Day commentary on Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign
- Match of the Day commentator Guy Mowbray has deleted his Twitter account
- The 48-year-old has worked on the iconic BBC programme since joining in 2004
- But his comments on Marcus Rashford’s food poverty campaign led to backlash
- Mowbray has to follow the BBC’s impartiality guidelines during his commentary
Match of the Day commentator Guy Mowbray has quit Twitter after his references to Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign were met with backlash online.
The 48-year-old has worked for the BBC flagship programme since 2004 but his choice of wording when introducing the Manchester United forward led to him believing he has been ‘hounded’.
Rashford has received widespread praise for his work in ensuring vulnerable children in the UK aren’t left to go hungry during the holiday period.
Match of the Day commentary Guy Mowbray has quit Twitter after receiving backlash online
Mowbray’s comments on Marcus Rashford’s efforts to end child food poverty were criticised
Rashford’s campaign made him the centre of attention for United’s clash against Chelsea this weekend.
But Mowbray, an experienced commentator and well-recognised voice, delivered an opening line on Match of the Day which triggered an outpouring of frustration from social media users.
The full quote in question read: ‘He didn’t get a win in Parliament, but he got the winner in Paris. Whether you agree with Marcus Rashford’s causes or not, there’s surely only admiration for his continued commitment.’
On Sunday, Mowbray decided to delete his account. He wrote: ‘I really think it is time to go now.
‘Disturbing getting hounded by people whose view of a situation is in reality the same as mine. Impartiality broadcast rules mean things have to be phrased a certain way.
‘I tried to do that, having checked my original words in the morning with the programme editors. I had to change them – it’s in the political arena so balance (however strange that may seem with some topics) is paramount…’
The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines state that: ‘Where our content highlights issues on which others campaign, we must take care not to endorse those campaigns, or allow ourselves to be used to campaign to change public policy.’
These rules mean that Mowbray was unable to publicly endorse, or criticise, Rashford’s efforts on television.
Rashford fronts a new child poverty task force to ensure children are fed over the holidays
A further tweet from his account further laid out the situation.
He said: ‘Believe it or not, there is an alternative view. Ignore its existence? Can’t. Duck the issue altogether? Not really an option.’
However, in response to Mowbray’s comments, one user replied by writing: ‘What is the alternative view to feeding hungry kids, Guy? Just interested to know.’
Another said: ‘Guy Mowbray saying whether you agree with Marcus Rashford’s causes or not. What human with any level of decency or any morals doesn’t agree with his causes?’
A third reasoned: ‘There are a substantial number of people who believe the Earth to be flat. Would you caveat a conversation of geography on their behalf?’
Rashford’s efforts to trigger change, which have also seen him front a new child poverty task force, have led to hundreds of businesses up and down the country offering up their resources.
The House of Commons voted down a Labour bill supporting the campaign to extend the free school meals scheme into this October half term – with Rashford’s appeal for politicians to ‘stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers’ falling on deaf ears.
The young forward also created a petition in an attempt to force the Government into another U-turn on their decision, which has currently been signed by over 838,000 people.
Initial pressure from Rashford saw the scheme extended across the summer holidays after the Government insisted that the support would not continue outside term time.
England international Rashford has retweeted messages from companies across the UK who have offered help over the coming weeks.
Their contributions have been shared with his 3.6million followers and more continue to flood in.
The 22-year-old also volunteered at a food bank in Manchester on Thursday.