The BBC’s withdrawal of its star presenter Gary Lineker drew heavy criticism for the BBC on Saturday, with many advisers and political figures throwing their support for the former footballer who was sanctioned for a tweet critical of the government.
The former England striker, who has presented the football show since 1999, was suspended by the British media giant after he criticized a new Conservative government bill on Tuesday to block migrants arriving by the English Channel to seek asylum in the UK, a bill it denounced. As far as the United Nations.
About “A harsh policy aimed at the most vulnerable, in language not unlike that used by Germany in the 1930s”He wrote on Twitter where the former footballer, 62, regularly shares his progressive views with his 8.8 million subscribers.
His remarks sparked lively debate in a very tense context on immigration issues, but also frequent criticism of neutrality aimed at public broadcasts from the British right.
The BBC initially claimed it would “to discuss” with the presenter. On Friday, the audiovisual group finally “He has decided that (Gary Lineker) will step back from presenting today’s game until we can clearly agree with him on his use of social media.”
The reactions were not long in coming: six commentators announced that they would withdraw in view of the light “conditions”as consultants such as former England players Ian Wright and Alan Shearer have shown.
The online support petition surpassed 135,000 signatures on Saturday morning, and the hashtag #BoycottBBC is trending on Twitter.
Politically, the audiovisual group’s decision was decried by many figures, from the Labor opposition to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who described it as“indefensible” BBC position. She sets according to her Endangering freedom of expression in the face of political pressure.
According to The Daily Express on Saturday, a group of 36 British Conservative MPs wrote a letter to the group’s chief executive, Tim Davey, asking for an apology. “without reservation” presenter.
The BBC has undermined its credibility by appearing to be submitting to government pressure.said former BBC director general Greg Dyke. According to him, the duty of impartiality required of staff working in political news should not apply to providers of entertainment programmes.
The new bill, which according to the government aims to end the illegal arrival of migrants across the English Channel, has been criticized by human rights groups and the United Nations, which has accused London of wanting it. Ending the right to asylum.
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