BBC should SACK 'insolent' Gary Lineker over political social media tirades blasts former Beeb exec

​Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker has been slammed by a former BBC boss

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 13/12/2023

- 09:04

Lineker has been accused of making BBC management look "weak"

A former BBC executive has slammed Gary Lineker and claimed the corporation should fire him due to his activity on social media.

Since the BBC rolled out new guidelines for its employees regarding social media activity, Lineker has continued to use his online platform to express his political views.

In recent weeks, he's come under fire for signing an open letter calling for the government's Rwanda scheme to be scrapped while he also sparked outrage for sharing a video that accused Israel of committing "textbook genocide" in the conflict with Hamas.

He also openly revelled in the news that Suella Braverman lost her job as Home Secretary with a sarcastic post on X, formerly Twitter.

While Lineker remains on the BBC payroll at the time of writing, it is believed incoming chairman Samir Shah will be grilled over his antics by MPs on Wednesday morning during a confirmatory hearing.

Before Shah faces questions, the BBC's former director of television Danny Cohen has implored the corporation to cut ties with the Match of the Day host.

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Using the analogy of Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure as manager of Man United, Cohen said: "If there were any signs that a player believed he was bigger than the club, Ferguson would quickly show him the door, even when it came to players of the world-class quality of David Beckham and Roy Keane.

"At the moment, Mr Lineker is behaving as if he is much bigger than his club - the BBC - with the insolent inference that there is nothing that his manager - the director-general - can or will do to stop him."

Cohen told the Telegraph that Lineker's behaviour makes BBC management "look even weaker" before he referred to his X posts aimed at Tory MPs such as GB News's very own Lee Anderson.

Cohen claimed Lineker's posts targeted at MPs are "insults more suited to the school playground".

He also insisted that Lineker is in clear breach of the new guidelines set out by the Beeb.

In a call for action, Cohen said of his former employer: "If the BBC does nothing about it, its management looks ever weaker and ever less in control of the social media output of the people who represent it in the eyes of the public."

GB News has contacted the BBC for comment on Cohen's claims.

Lineker hasn't publicly addressed Cohen's remarks but a number of high-profile figures have shared their thoughts on the former BBC exec's remarks.

BBC Gary Lineker

BBC presenter Gary Lineker is the corporation's highest-paid presenter


One of which was commentator Kelvin MacKenzie who agreed with Cohen as he penned on X: "Agree with Danny Cohen, the BBC’s former Director of Television , who says in a Telegraph article tonight, it’s time the corporation parted company with the 'insolent' Gary Lineker who is running rings round them with what he calls, the presenter’s 'offensive and embarrassing' social media posts.

"Correctly he points out that Match of the Day would be 'completely fine' as viewers switch on for the game not the analysis. And let’s be honest as he’s grown older Mr Lineker has turned into a dull old spud. No interesting insight or big personality.

"And he pockets £1million+ of your money for those strengths! Mind you he only works Saturdays which allows him plenty of time to use the socials. I recognise DG Tim Davies has a difficult job but Lineker makes him look a fool.

"I can only think he enjoys looking stupid in front of his own employees. It’s the only possible explanation." (sic)

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