Tory MPs attempt to praise stripped down MOTD completely backfires

Tory MPs attempt to praise stripped down MOTD completely backfires
Booted from BBC: What’s the Gary Lineker controversy all about?

As the fallout over Gary Lineker’s tweet about the government’s new policy on asylum seekers and the BBC’s reaction continues, everyone has been sharing their take on the broadcaster’s impartiality, suggesting other presenters who should be scrutinised, and expressing their surprise at the 20-minute-long Match of the Day which aired on Saturday without any special commentary.

With Lineker asked to step back from the show after comparing the Tories’ Illegal Migration Bill to “1930s Germany”, and other presenters boycotting it in solidarity, the BBC programme ended up airing only highlights from several matches rather than with the usual punditry from the former footballer.

The ever-embarrassing GB News decided to get in on the action by airing a cringeworthy ‘Alternative Match of the Day which is currently being branded “homophobic” for a remark about rainbow flags and Brighton, and now Conservative MP Scott Benton has waded in to express his glee at the new format for the programme.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

“Best #MatchOfTheDay episode in years. Had all the goals in, no ‘expert’ analysis, and finished quicker than usual so I could make the pub for the last orders.

“What’s not to like,” he tweeted.

The post was soon ridiculed by other Twitter users, to the extent that replies to the tweet have now been turned off by the Blackpool South politician.

Bless. Not exactly the kind of free speech the Tory party often harps on about, though, is it?

Meanwhile, Lineker is to return to presenting Match of the Day from this weekend following the row, with BBC director general Tim Davie apologising for what he described as a "difficult period" for staff, contributors and audiences.

"Accordingly, we are announcing a review led by an independent expert - reporting to the BBC - on its existing social media guidance, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside news and current affairs. The BBC and myself are aware that Gary is in favour of such a review."

Lineker added: "I am glad that we have found a way forward. I support this review and look forward to getting back on air."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)