Ex-BBC radio DJ asks 'how does Gary Lineker get away with' political tweets?

Ex-BBC radio DJ asks 'how does Gary Lineker get away with' political tweets?
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Jamie  Micklethwaite

By Jamie Micklethwaite

Published: 25/08/2022

- 08:38

Updated: 10/10/2023

- 15:36

The Match of the Day host and BBC pundit regularly gives his views on a number of political issues

Former BBC radio DJ Liz Kershaw has asked how Gary Lineker continues to get away with voicing his own opinions on politically sensitive subjects.

Lineker, 61, who is the corporation's highest paid presenter and the only on-screen personality currently earning over £1million-a-year, regularly takes to social media to voice his opinion on a range of subjects, including the environment, Ukraine, and criticising the Tories.

This is despite the corporation's vow not to show any political bias.

Ms Kershaw claims Lineker's social media stance has annoyed members of staff at the national broadcaster, with one journalist even calling him out, before deleting his tweets.

Undated Handout Photo of Gary Lineker wearing glasses from the Lineker Edit, available at Vision Express. See PA Feature TOPICAL Fashion Lineker. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TOPICAL Fashion Lineker. WARNING: This picture must only be used with the full product information as stated above.
Gary Lineker

Speaking on Breakfast with Eamonn and Ellie on GB News, Ms Kershaw claims she was regularly asked to take down tweets while working at the BBC.

She told us: "With the Gary Lineker thing, it's always been a bugbear for anyone who works there, including me, that he is allowed to voice his opinions in public, and especially on Twitter, on very political subjects.

Liz Kershaw appearing on GB News Breakfast
Liz Kershaw appearing on GB News Breakfast
GB News

"And yet everyone else gets very sinister calls from management or emails or a wrap on the knuckles for doing the same.

"I'd get a phonecall and it would say 'remove that tweet' and I'd say I'll stop tweeting when you stop Gary Lineker doing it. One law for everybody.

"How does Gary Lineker get away with it?"

In a tweet which has since been deleted, journalist Neil Henderson asked Lineker why he was not subject to the same BBC rules.

He wrote: "Do you have the freedom to tweet about this sort of thing because you have a different contract to mine? Because if so I’d be sacked.

“Does our duty of impartiality apply across the BBC?

“The BBC lives or dies by its impartiality. If you can’t abide by it, get off it.”

Lineker responded by claiming the corporation's impartiality laws only extended to news and current affairs employees.

BBC director general Tim Davie told employees its impartiality laws would be expanded beyond the news and current affairs remit, and anyone in breech of this could face disciplinary action.

He told BBC staff: “If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media then that is a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC.”

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