Gary Lineker hypocrisy laid bare as woke presenter wades into BBC row - ‘Like his football career, he’s there for the tap-ins!’

Headliners discuss Richard Sharp's departure

GB News
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 29/04/2023

- 06:19

Updated: 29/04/2023

- 06:20

Richard Sharp has resigned as chairman of the corporation

BBC presenter Gary Lineker is facing criticism after his decision to give his take on the BBC chairman row.

It comes as the Match of the Day star hit out at the appointment of Richard Sharp as head of the corporation, who yesterday resigned from the role.

Lineker took to Twitter to comment on the matter, saying: “The BBC chairman should not be selected by the govenment of the day. Not now, not ever.”

Comedian Paul Cox has taken aim at the presenter, arguing there is a sense of hypocrisy over his stance.

Gary Lineker and Richard Sharp

Paul Cox has criticised Gary Lineker's political commentary

GB News / PA

He argued that the chairman of the BBC is regularly selected by the government of the day, and Lineker is not likely to have complained had it been a Labour Party appointment.

Speaking on GB News, he said: “This just happens every time. He won’t be saying the same thing if it were a Labour Prime Minister choosing the Chair of the BBC next time.

“I don’t think Gary Lineker will be objective and career. The thing about him is, just like his football career, he’s always there for the easy tap-ins.

“His football career was always about hanging around the goal for the easy tap-ins, and his political career, which this is by the way, is all about easy tap-ins.

“It’s very easy for Gary to say these things.”

The ex-BBC chairman stood down from his position on Friday after being found to have broken the rules by failing to disclose he played a role in getting Boris Johnson and £800,000 loan guarantee.

Adam Heppinstall KC’s review found the former Tory donor twice breached the code governing public appointments, risking the perception he was not independent from the then-prime minister.

Sharp spared forcing Rishi Sunak to decide on his fate by announcing he will stand down from the influential role overseeing the public broadcaster’s independence at the end of June.

The barrister’s review published on Friday morning said Sharp risked a perception that he was recommended for the role because he assisted Johnson “in a private financial matter” ahead of his appointment in 2021.

Heppinstall also said there was the risk it would be perceived that he influenced Johnson to recommend him by notifying the former prime minister of his application before submitting it.

Failing to disclose both issues were found to have caused breaches of the governance code for public appointments.

In his resignation statement, Sharp insisted that his breach of the rules was “inadvertent and not material”.

Gary Lineker presents the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Awards

Gary Lineker continues to cause trouble for the BBC


“Nevertheless, I have decided that it is right to prioritise the interests of the BBC,” the former Goldman Sachs banker added.

The BBC Board said: “We accept and understand Richard’s decision to stand down.”

BBC director-general Tim Davie thanked Mr Sharp for his service to the BBC and “the drive and intellect he brought to his time as chairman”.

“Working with him over the last two years has been rewarding and Richard has made a significant contribution to the transformation and success of the BBC,” Mr Davie said.

“The focus for all of us at the BBC is continuing the hard work to ensure we deliver for audiences, both now and in the future.”

Mr Sunak declined to commit to ensuring Mr Sharp’s replacement is not a political appointment, telling broadcasters on a visit to Scotland he will follow the “established” procedure.

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