BBC’s Tim Davie says he’s had ‘very constructive’ talks with Lineker

BBC director general Tim Davie has had “very constructive” talks with Gary Lineker after several Match of the Day football pundits boycotted the show.  On Friday, the BBC confirmed Lineker would not present the show this weekend after he posted a recent tweet comparing the Government’s plans on migration to Nazi Germany. The company concluded his comments breached impartiality rules. The BBC chief has since been quizzed and doorstepped by journalists after the decision to axe Lineker from MOTD.

Several of Lineker’s colleagues including Alan Shearer and Ian Wright announced they would stand up for the ex-England striker by boycotting the show. In response, the BBC decided it will run MOTD without a presenter or any pundits.

But a video has circulated on social media showing Mr Davie, 55, being scrutinised by a journalist — from the BBC.

In the video, he said: “I think we always look to take proportionate action and that’s what we’ve done.

“‘I don’t want to add to the statement. I think we’ve had very constructive discussions, the statement is very clear. That’s where we are.”

He was also asked about Shearer, Wright and other presenters deciding not to appear on the show.

He added: “No, I absolutely respect people’s right to make that decision. BBC Sport had to look at the programme they’re going to produce at the weekend, as normal.

“I’m not going to say more than I’ve said on this. It’s all in the statement.”

After Lineker was cut from MOTD, a BBC spokesman said the organisation had been in “extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days”.

It added: “We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.”

Ian Wright and a string of other pundits and presenters announced their boycott yesterday. Ian Wright tweeted: “Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.”

This was followed by a tweet by Alan Shearer in the late hours of Friday, confirming he had made the same decision.

Pundit and Football Focus presenter Alex Scott tweeted a GIF of Bernie Sanders saying “Nah! Not me” in response to suggestions she might fill Lineker’s role.

Gary Lineker, the BBC’s highest-paid star, sparked a massive row after he called the Government’s policy of Stop The Boats to 1930s Nazi Germany.

“Good heavens, this is beyond awful”, said Lineker in response to a video of Home Secretary Suella Braverman explaining the policy. 

He added: “There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.

“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, and I’m out of order?”

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