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Brits Back Lineker in BBC Dispute

This is a syndicated repost published with the permission of Statista | Infographics. To view original, click here. Opinions herein are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler. Reposting does not imply endorsement. The information presented is for educational or entertainment purposes and is not individual investment advice.

English football commentator Gary Lineker will be returning to the BBC’s landmark Match of the Day programme, after a weekend-long dispute with the news organization. Lineker was asked to step back from his role on Friday after he tweeted on his private social media account criticism of the Conservative government’s new and potentially illegal immigration policy, comparing it to language used in 1930s Germany.

The row has raised wider questions around the BBC’s impartiality, with critics saying it now leans towards appeasing the Conservative government. Adding fuel to the fire was a report by The Guardian last week, which claimed that the sixth episode of a David Attenborough series would not be aired live on television because of BBC higher ups saying they wanted to avoid “rightwing backlash.” The BBC denied this was the case, stating that it was never intended for broadcast.

Lineker is a freelance broadcast commentator who works for the BBC. Since he is not a permanent member of staff and not responsible for news or political content, he is not bound by the same rules on what he can and cannot say off air. The BBC has since responded to the incident by bringing Lineker back to the show and announcing a review of its social media policies.

As our chart shows, YouGov carried out a number of polls on the topic in recent days. It found that 53 percent of UK adults agreed it was wrong to suspend Lineker over his tweets, versus only 27 percent who disagreed, and that 51 agreed that it was right that presenters pulled out of their programmes in solidarity with him. In a survey carried out on March 8, some 46 percent of respondents said that BBC sports correspondents should be allowed to publicly express their political views outside of BBC channels, versus 33 percent who thought they should not.

This chart shows UK respondents opinions over the Gary Lineker dispute.

YouGov survey on Gary Lineker dispute

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