Gary Lineker will maintain his liberty to tweet about politics 2023

An MP says a BBC social media study would allow freelance broadcasters like Gary Lineker to tweet their political opinions.

Following Lineker’s tweets, the BBC commissioned an independent assessment conducted by former ITN CEO John Hardie. SNP MP John Nicolson stated he knew the results.

Mr. Nicolson told BBC Director-General Tim Davie that the Hardie study had reached a “common sense position” before a Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee meeting.

“If you’re a newscaster, you can’t say anything political,” he remarked. Sports, entertainment, and natural history presenters have more freedom to speak.

Freelancers have greater flexibility than workers.

Lineker, a freelancer and one of the BBC’s highest-paid personalities, was briefly suspended for violating impartiality requirements.

The Match of the Day host tweeted that the Government’s immigration language was “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”.

He claims he has a BBC deal to talk on migrants and migration. His tweet violated impartiality standards for BBC figures.

If Mr. Nicolson is right, BBC freelance broadcaster Chris Packham might continue his wildlife policy initiatives as long as his programs are neutral.

Mr. Davie was “surprised” that the SNP’s media spokesman, a former BBC News presenter, had “pre-empted the report,” which would be released soon.

Mr. Hardie is reviewing what freelance presenters outside news, current affairs, and factual journalism can say on social media.

Mr. Nicolson’s office said the MP was among those who contributed to the Hardie report. An unnamed source informed him of the results.

After Lineker was fired, Match of the Day pundits boycotted one program, which Mr. Davie called “difficult”.

Lineker rejoined MOTD.

The BBC chief claimed he had not backed down but accepted “we needed to resolve the situation” and that a review will identify “common ground.”

Since the row, Lineker has tweeted on a variety of issues, but Mr. Davie said none of it was concerning.

In light of the Philip Schofield controversy at ITV, he said that “we do have imbalances” in the “strange” TV industry, with top stars receiving more than producers. He stated the BBC safeguards “robustly.”

He felt “confident about the culture of the BBC” when questioned about ITV’s This Morning’s supposed toxicity after Schofield’s departure.

The Director-General said attracting a “world-class person to run the BBC” was “very important” when asked about replacing Richard Sharp as BBC chair.

He stated the winner will “champion impartiality” and have “demonstrable media sector experience.”

Ministers are writing a job ad that requires candidates to disclose any political activities or conflicts of interest.

Sir Peter Bazalgette, who brought Big Brother to Britain and was executive chair of ITV, is a contender.

Mr. Davie confessed that he did not want Ken Bruce, who had hosted BBC Radio 2’s mid-morning show for 31 years, to go. Vernon Kay was a “outstanding broadcaster” to succeed him.

Mr. Davie advised the BBC to protect its “heartland, your loyal audience” and not “lurch to youth.”

He denied assertions by James vocalist Tim Booth, 62, that Radio 1 would not broadcast their new work. “If you look at our employee record but also our playlists, there will always be people who have issues with our playlists, different artists, different ages,” Mr. Davie said.

ITV head Dame Carolyn McCall will address concerns regarding protection and complaint-handling at a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

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