Gary Lineker makes fresh jab at government following BBC resignation

Gary Lineker makes fresh jab at government following BBC resignation
Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer return to television after BBC row

Gary Lineker has made another swipe at the government's relationship with the BBC after chairman of the organisation, Richard Sharp, announced he was resigning.

Sharp stepped down after a commissioner for public appointments report found today that he had breached public appointment rules for failing to declare a connection to a secret £800,000 loan for the former prime minister Boris Johnson.

He had secretly helped an acquaintance, Sam Blyth, who wanted to offer the loan to Johnson, during the period Sharp was applying to be BBC chairman, by introducing him to Simon Case, the head of the civil service.

When the Sunday Times uncovered this, it raised concerns that there would be a conflict of interest created, as the report confirmed today - Johnson personally approved Sharp's appointment.

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With that in mind, after the damning report was published this morning, Lineker made his stance clear.

"The BBC chairman should not be selected by the government of the day," he said. "Not now, not ever."

It also comes after Lineker's own run-in with the broadcaster. In March, the former footballer and Match of the Day presenter was asked to step back from presenting duties over his social media comments criticising the government's asylum policy on small boats.

It created a huge national debate about impartiality, led to his colleagues refusing to present their shows in solidarity with the star and eventually caused the BBC to back down and let him back on the air.

So for Lineker to intervene in BBC discourse once again is quite bold from the ex-England international.

As for Sharp, the chairman intends to step down in June and the government will be able to select a new BBC chair on a four-year term.

So it seems like there will be plenty more for Lineker to get cross about.

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