Gary Lineker suspended by BBC’s Match of the Day following his criticism on UK’s new migration policy

Mar 12, 2023

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Former England footballer and renowned broadcaster, Gary Lineker was suspended by BBC’s Match of the Day programme, a flagship event of the channel. It came into happening after he criticised the government’s migration policy, as stated by BBC on Friday.

Lineker was told that there must be an agreed position over the usage of social media before he can return to the studio, said the corporation on Friday. The episode pertained to a migration deal struck between UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and France President Emmanuel Macron. Following the axe that was thrown at former England striker, BBC was accused of surrrendering to political pressure.

“Gary Lineker off air is an assault on free speech in the face of political pressure,” said the opposition party Labour who was quoted as saying by ESPN. The party also called for a reconsideration of the decision.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, deemed the BBC’s decision “indefensible.” The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said, “Individual cases are a matter for the BBC.”

It was on Tuesday when the UK government put out details of the new law which forbids the migrants arriving in small boats across the Channel from claiming asylum. They are either deported back to their home nation or to the “safe” third-world nations. This not only drew a strong criticism from the opposition party, Lineker who formerly hosted refugees in his own home, commented on the new law, “Good heavens, this is beyond awful.”

Lineker also added: “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 language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?”

This provoked a response from Sunak’s spokeswoman who called it “not acceptable” and “disappointing”.

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