Gary Lineker claims BBC can’t ‘take him off Twitter’ for his political views

Gary Lineker has claimed his new BBC boss can't "take him off Twitter " for airing his political views.

The outspoken Match of the Day host laughed off Tim Davie's threat to sack presenters for breaching impartiality rules.

The director general warned all BBC staff will be subject to new social media rules to be announced in weeks.

Mr Davie said he could "to take people off Twitter" if necessary, adding: "I am prepared to take the appropriate disciplinary action, all the way to termination."

But the £1.75m presenter and the BBC's best paid star responded to the comments saying: "I think only Twitter can take people off Twitter."

MPs have grilled Mr Davie over "star salaries" at the BBC after taking up the post earlier this month.

He told MPs on the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee: "Enforcement actions will be very clear, we will be able to take disciplinary action, we'll be able to take people off Twitter.

"I know people want to see hard action on this."

Lineker announced he will take a 23% pay cut after topping the BBC's "star salaries" list with £1.75m in the 2019-20 financial year.

Asked specifically about him, Mr Davie said the former footballer had "always got a flavoursome turn of phrase", but "understands his responsibilities as a person within the BBC".

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He said: "We will issue the social media guidelines which will be clear. I would note that Gary Lineker has been very clear in his statements recently, saying, 'I understand I have responsibilities while working at the BBC'.

"Those responsibilities will be clearly laid out. I am the director general so I am now running the show, and in my view, party political statements are not the right thing for people to be making if they are part of an impartial news organisation."

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