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Prominent UK football host reprimanded for ‘Russian donors’ tweet

Gary Lineker was found to have breached BBC guidelines in a tweet to then-Foreign Secretary Liz Truss

The BBC has publicly reprimanded Match of the Day host Gary Lineker for a tweet he posted in February of this year, in which he accused figures within the ruling Conservative Party of accepting money from Russian donors. 

It is against British law for figures within its government to accept money from people of Russian nationality, though people with dual nationality between Russia and the UK remain eligible to do so. 

Former England striker Lineker made the allegation in a tweet responding to a news report in which former UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that English teams should boycott the 2022 Champions League final, which at the time was scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg, ahead of the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. 


Lineker noted of the report: “And her party will hand back their donations from Russian donors?

A review of the tweet by the BBC’s internal complaints department concluded that Lineker’s statement was in breach of its impartiality guidelines because it “highlight[ed] a perceived inconsistency in the Conservative party’s approach, at a time when relations between the UK and Russia were the subject of significant public debate.


Lineker, who is among the highest-paid broadcasters in the BBC, isn’t considered to be subject to the most stringent guidelines surrounding social media posts which cover his colleagues in the news department.

However, it is thought that his status as one of the organization’s most recognizable public faces led BBC chiefs to consider that he should be held to higher standards than other sports TV figures.

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In his defense, Lineker stated that his tweet was intended as a comment upon football rather than politics, while BBC Sport also defended him by saying that his comments was posed as a question rather than a declarative statement. 


Lineker has been a frequent critic of the Conservative government, as well as several recent elements of British political discourse such as Brexit. 

BBC director general Tim Davie amended the organization’s social media policy upon assuming the role in 2020, informing BBC employees “to avoid taking sides on party political issues or political controversies and to take care when addressing public policy matters.

However, the policy has reportedly led to resentment in BBC ranks, with some junior staff members said to be frustrated about being muzzled when it comes to expressing views on subjects such as LGBT rights as well as what they see as an unequal enforcement of rules depending on a person’s stature within the BBC. 

https://ift.tt/oZXyP9i 14, 2022 at 03:55PM
from RT – Daily news


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