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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak breaks silence after BBC suspend Gary Lineker amid impartiality row

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak breaks silence after BBC suspend Gary Lineker amid impartiality row

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak praised suspended BBC host Gary Lineker as a “great footballer” and as a “talented presenter.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has offered his two cents on the high-profile public row over impartiality between former England striker Gary Lineker and the BBC.

The BBC pulled Lineker from its flagship Match of the Day football programme and suspended the former Barcelona and Tottenham star over a divisive tweet.

Lineker on Tuesday took to Twitter and brutally slammed the UK government’s proposals to tackle migrants who have crossed the Channel on small boats.

The 62-year-old English presenter pulled no punches towards the Illegal Migration Bill -- the government’s divisive asylum policy -- and hit out at the rhetoric of the scheme.

“There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries,” Lineker tweeted.

“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.”

Speaking after Lineker’s suspension, Sunak said that he is hopeful that the BBC and English presenter’s current standoff “can be resolved in a timely manner.”

“As Prime Minister, I have to do what I believe is right, respecting that not everyone will always agree,” he said in a statement.

“That is why I have been unequivocal in my approach to stopping the boats.

“Gary Lineker was a great footballer and is a talented presenter.

“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.

“While that process is ongoing, it is important that we maintain perspective, particularly given the seriousness of the issue at hand.

“Forty-five thousand people crossed the channel illegally last year, many of whom have been exploited or trafficked by criminal gangs, putting their lives in danger.

“We need to break this cycle of misery once and for all and the policy we set out this week I believe aims to do just that.

“It is not only the fair and moral thing to do, it is also the compassionate thing to do.

“There are no easy answers to solving this problem, but I believe leadership is about taking the tough decisions to fix problems.

“I know not everyone will always agree, but I do believe this is fair and right.”


Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Gary Lineker, Football