Dan Walker aims dig at BBC as he brands Gary Lineker MOTD row ‘a mess’
Gary Lineker, 62, has been accused of breaking the BBC’s impartiality rules this week after he criticised the government’s video about their immigration policy changes, with the presenter being forced to step back from Match of the Day until the BBC sorted out his social media use. Dan Walker, 45, has now taken to Twitter to aim a dig at his former employer after moving to Channel 5 News, admitting he is “not sure” if he would fancy working on MOTD again, due to the “mess” of the Gary row.
Dan took to Twitter to make the quip in view of his 797,400 followers, as he wrote: “I used to sit in for @GaryLineker on MOTD… not sure I’d fancy it this weekend. What a mess!”
Social media users rushed to the comments to share their views on Dan’s response to the debate, while also sharing their opinions on the wider argument about the BBC’s rules.
Timmytampper said: “I struggle to imagine Alex Scott, Gabby Logan or Mark Chapman being willing to step in. BBC has had an absolute shocker.”
Dankthemanc added: “No one should step in to present it. Refusals all around.”
AnnField9 commented: “Just heard Ian Wright is refusing to appear on Saturday, at least some people have principles, well done Wrighty.”
Ian wrote out a message on Twitter confirming he wouldn’t appear on the BBC show this weekend in order to stand with Gary in a move of “solidarity”.
He wrote: “Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.”
There has yet to be an announcement on who will replace Lineker as host, while the producers of Match of the Day must now also find an additional pundit to fill in for Wright on the programme.
Dan also spoke further on the matter this evening on his Channel 5 News show, admitting he was texting the man in question.
He said: “It’s one of those strange situations where I’m actually texting the man himself (Lineker) at the moment.
“And I have asked Gary Lineker the question about whether he is stepping back or whether the BBC have told him to step back and I’ve told him that if he responds to me that I will read out that text on air.
“There’s one word in there I can’t use, but he has said ‘No, they’ve told me I have to step back’.
“So Gary Lineker wants to continue to present Match Of The Day and is not apologising for what he’s said but he’s said it’s a BBC decision to force him to not present the programme at the moment.”
Gary has become embroiled in a row over impartiality after comparing the language used to launch a new government asylum policy to that of 1930s Germany.
A BBC spokesperson said Gary’s recent social media activity was a “breach of our guidelines”.
In a statement, the broadcaster added that due to its impartiality rules, Gary should “keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies”.
The row was sparked by his response on Twitter to a Home Office video in which Home Secretary Suella Braverman unveiled the government’s plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel on small boats.
He wrote about the video, in view of his 8.7 million followers: “There is no huge influx.
“We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.
“This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in a language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the ’30s.”
Yesterday, Gary told reporters outside his London home that he was standing by his comments.
He also said he didn’t fear being suspended by the BBC.
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