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HomeNewsBBC crisis: Gary Lineker's take on UK's migration plan spurs mounting row

BBC crisis: Gary Lineker’s take on UK’s migration plan spurs mounting row

The British government’s recently revealed plan to crack down on migrants has now triggered a massive row within the BBC. The UK broadcaster had taken presenter and former England soccer captain Gary Lineker off air after the latter drew a parallel with Nazi Germany. The decision has however forced the BBC to axe much of its sports coverage on Saturday after presenters refused to work.

“We are working hard to resolve the situation and hope to do so soon,” the broadcaster assured in a statement after many sports programmes did not air as scheduled on Saturday.

Lineker was suspended from ‘Match of the Day’ – a popular highlights show – earlier this week after comparing the British government’s new plan on illegal immigration to the rhetoric of Nazi Germany. The development has since prompted sharp criticism from politicians, sports personalities, news anchors and countless others. His colleagues have also opted for a show of solidarity, with many presenters refusing to work on Saturday.

While the BBC is committed to being politically impartial, its efforts to counter Lineker has prompted allegations of bias. Meanwhile some Conservative politicians have lavished praise on the broadcaster.

Also read: ‘No exceptions, all illegal immigrants will be deported,’ warns Sunak

The Lineker row has pitched the government against one of the country’s most high-profile and popular sports presenters. 

“The BBC is not acting impartially by caving in to Tory MPs who are complaining about Gary Lineker,” Labour leader Keir Starmer told reporters at a conference in Wales on Saturday.

“I hope that the current situation between Gary Lineker and the BBC can be resolved in a timely manner, but it is rightly a matter for them, not the government,” said PM Sunak in a statement.

(With inputs from agencies)

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