Saturday 19 January 2019

Jonathan Agnew asks BBC colleague Lineker to keep political views to himself

The BBC cricket correspondent claimed he would be sacked if he followed the Match of the Day presenter’s example.

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and former England footballer Gary Lineker – (Mike Egerton/PA and Isabel Infantes/PA)
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and former England footballer Gary Lineker – (Mike Egerton/PA and Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Max McLean, Press Association

Jonathan Agnew has criticised Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker for broadcasting his political views to the public.

The BBC cricket correspondent and Test Match Special stalwart took to Twitter to ask the former England striker to “keep your political views, whatever they are and whatever the subject, to yourself”.

Agnew also claimed he would lose his job were he to express his views in the same manner.

The BBC’s editorial guidelines state that: “Impartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences.”

Lineker frequently tweets on subjects outside of football, and posted replies to some of his former England teammates who had tweeted their opinions after Wednesday’s vote on Theresa May’s leadership.

First, Lineker responded to Chris Waddle, who expressed his view that Britain should leave the European Union with no deal – Waddle has since deleted his tweet.

Later on, Peter Shilton – England’s most capped footballer – tweeted how impressed he was with Conservative Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg.

This prompted Lineker to respond as such.

Agnew’s comments received thousands of interactions, prompting him to tweet that it seemed people were broadly in favour of Lineker speaking his mind.

That didn’t stop the 1986 Golden Boot-winner from defending his actions though, saying: “I’ll continue to tweet what I like and if folk disagree with me then so be it.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Gary is not involved in any news or political output for the BBC and as such any expression of his personal political views does not affect the BBC’s impartiality.”

Press Association

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