One of the strangest episodes in the BBC’s history seems to have been resolved, but not before Gary Lineker appeared to achieve what no modern PM has ever achieved and unite the political spectrum.
The Match of the Day host was recently told to "step back from presenting duties over his social media comments about the government's asylum policy on small boats.
The former footballer compared the government’s rhetoric surrounding the launch of the policy with 1930s Germany.
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Over the weekend it emerged that the British public reckon the BBC was wrong to suspend Lineker after other stars pulled out of Match of the Day and forced the BBC to air it without punditry and for only 20 minutes.
Journalist Sam Freedman had one of the most telling reactions on social media. He responded to a post showing screen shots of people from different ends of the political spectrum, all criticising the BBC for its decision to take Lineker off the air.
One of them was Piers Morgan, who wrote: “I’ll never be asked to host or appear on [Match of the Day] but if I ever was, I’d tell the BBC to shove it up their free speech denying a** #IStandWithJugs.”
Belgium liberal politician Guy Verhofstadt was also in there, saying: “This is cancel culture… Fact and decency are not partly political issues. Anyone has a right… the duty to speak up for them especially when people in power break them!”
Freedman added: “BBC management should get the Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the entire political spectrum.”
Lineker will return to hosting duties on Match of the Day(Laurence Griffiths - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
Lineker posted a statement on Twitter on Monday and confirmed that he would return to his hosting duties on Saturday.
BBC confirmed the presenter will return to the corporation and internal independent review into its social media guidelines will be launched.
Lineker wrote: “After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.”
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