Gary Lineker lauds new BBC rules to allow political views online from high-profile presenters

​Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker has welcomed the changes to the BBC's policy

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 28/09/2023

- 12:03

Updated: 28/09/2023

- 15:17

The BBC has released a report which sets out new rule for the corporation's flagship presenters

Gary Lineker has welcomed the new rules set out by the BBC following the furore he caused with his tweets earlier this year.

The Match of the Day star sparked outrage and was taken off air by the Beeb after he stated the government's asylum policy used language "not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s".

Now, the BBC's has claimed high-profile presenters should be able to express their political views but not branch into the remit of political campaigning.

A review into the BBC's social media guidelines was published by former ITN boss John Hardie and it's been praised by Lineker himself.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, the footballer-turned-presenter shared a link to the BBC's article about the changes.

He captioned alongside the link: "All very sensible," followed by a thumbs-up emoji.

In the guidance issued by the BBC, it reminds its high-profile stars that they have "a particular responsibility to respect the BBC's impartiality, because of their profile on the BBC".

Match of the Day is classed as one of the BBC's flagship shows alongside the likes of the Alan Suger-led The Apprentice.

Other TV shows that fall under the umbrella of flagship shows include Antiques Roadshow, Dragons' Den, The One Show, major sporting events, Masterchef, Top Gear, and Strictly Come Dancing.

Therefore, the likes of Fiona Bruce, Alex Jones, Tess Daly, Claudia Winkleman, Gregg Wallace and many others will have to abide by the same guidance as Lineker.

The new rules put an emphasis on the BBC's recognition of freedom of expression but it still has requirements for what presenters can say while a show is on-air,

The corporation explained: "While a programme is on air, and for a two-week window before and after the series, presenters on flagship shows must not endorse or attack a political party."

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker's tweets about immigration caused the BBC to suspend him in March


Presenters have also been warned against criticising and attacking individual politician's character.

Lineker and his "high-profile" colleagues have also been told that during an election period, they must also refrain from commenting "on any issue of political debate".

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