Gary Lineker will be back on air for the BBC, after BBC Director General Tim Davie made apologies to all and announced a review of the Corporation’s social media guidance.
The move follows a walk-out by presenters and commentators after Lineker was removed from Match of the Day following his tweet responding to the Home Secretary’s plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel.
“This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s,” he said.
In a statement issued today, Lineker said: “I am glad that we have found a way forward. I support this review and look forward to getting back on air.”
Tim Davie said: “Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this. The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air.”
A review is expected to look again at whether sports and entertainment presenters should be held to the same standards as journalists working in BBC News.
“Impartiality is important to the BBC. It is also important to the public. The BBC has a commitment to impartiality in its Charter and a commitment to freedom of expression. That is a difficult balancing act to get right where people are subject to different contracts and on air positions, and with different audience and social media profiles. The BBC’s social media guidance is designed to help manage these sometimes difficult challenges and I am aware there is a need to ensure that the guidance is up to this task. It should be clear, proportionate, and appropriate.
“Accordingly, we are announcing a review led by an independent expert – reporting to the BBC – on its existing social media guidance, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside news and current affairs. The BBC and myself are aware that Gary is in favour of such a review
“Shortly, the BBC will announce who will conduct that review. Whilst this work is undertaken, the BBC’s current social media guidance remains in place.
“Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend.”
Share this story