The former footballer accused the government of “immeasurably cruel” immigration restrictions
BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker could be fired from the state broadcaster after comparing a new immigration plan to Germany’s policies in the 1930s, a former top official at the outlet said.
Lineker unleashed a storm of criticism on Tuesday after sending out a pair of tweets attacking the Tories for a new border proposal to curb the flow of illegal immigration. calling the plan “beyond terrible” while drawing a comparison to Nazi Germany.
“There is no large influx [of illegal immigrants]. We are taking in far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is simply an immeasurably cruel policy targeting the most vulnerable in a language not unlike that of Germany in the 1930s. He added.
Amid outrage from Conservative MPs and officials – including Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Culture Minister Lucy Frazer – the BBC said it was looking into the matter “serious” and would one “candid conversation” with the ‘Match of the Day’ host, who said he had been in contact with BBC director-general Tim Davie.
Richard Ayre, the BBC’s former head of editorial policy, suggested Davie be forced to sack Lineker over the comments, told BBC Radio 4 “I don’t think he will have a choice but to let him go unless he can be sure that this is the end.”
However, on Thursday the host said the “ridiculously out of proportion” response to his tweets seemed to be “decreasing”, indicating that he would not be fired after discussions with senior officials at the government-owned outlet. While it remains unclear whether he will face disciplinary action as a result of the posts, Lineker said he stands by his comments. vow Unpleasant “Keep trying to stand up for those poor souls who don’t have a voice.”
Lineker later received support from fellow journalists, with Sky News pundit Adam Boulton saying it did “right to say what he wants” on social media, especially considering he doesn’t cover political topics. Broadcaster Piers Morgan too stepped right away for Lineker on similar grounds.
While BBC reporters are ostensibly required to remain impartial to political matters in their public commentary, Lineker is not a permanent staffer at the outlet, but rather a freelance contributor, meaning he is not subject to the same guidelines. However, the BBC also maintains separate social media use rules that apply to all its employees, warning that breaches could lead to “disciplinary action” up to and including “possible termination of employment in compelling circumstances.”
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