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Gary Lineker says ‘only Twitter can take people off Twitter’ amid BBC’s new impartiality rules

Gary Lineker doesn’t seem convinced by the new ruling (Picture: Getty Images)

Gary Lineker has responded to the ruling that the BBC will be able to strip stars of their Twitter accounts if they break impartiality guidelines – and he’s not convinced.

The broadcaster’s new Director-General, Tim Davie, has said there will be a tightening of rules around impartiality, explaining that stars could have their accounts suspended.

The Match of the Day host, who recently signed a five year contract with the Beeb, has made his thoughts clear on Twitter.

Responding to a question about whether the new rule will stop the ‘beef’ between him and Piers Morgan, Lineker, 55, said: ‘I think only Twitter can take people off Twitter.’

In his introductory speech earlier this month, Tim Davie doubled down on the BBC’s ‘commitment to impartiality’, saying that new social media rules would be ‘rigorously enforced’.

Now, Davie has said that new guidelines set to be published will allow the BBC to ‘take people off Twitter’ if they break the rules.

Lineker addressed the new rules (PIcture: Twitter)

Speaking in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee, Davie said: ‘We are going to be publishing in the next few weeks, and this is imminent, clear social media guidelines, and they will cover both news and current affairs, and beyond news and current affairs.

‘We will have, within those guidelines, the enforcement policies will be very clear.

‘We will be able to take disciplinary action. We will be able to take people off Twitter. I know people want to see hard action on this.’

Tim Davie is introducing new guidelines (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

He added: ‘If they want to work for the BBC, I can ask people, you would suspend their Twitter account, absolutely.’

Speaking directly about Lineker, Davie added: ‘I would note that Gary Lineker has actually been very clear in his statements recently, saying “I understand I have a responsibility while working at the BBC”’.

He continued: ‘I think Gary has always got a flavoursome turn of phrase.

‘What I would say is that Gary has said since – the thing is to judge us now as the BBC on what we tweet, how we tweet and our social media profile.

‘I think Gary has been very clear. He has said that he is not concerned by what he said. You can let the man speak for himself.

‘He said he understands his responsibilities as a person within the BBC. The good thing is I will be making that even clearer as I go through my social media guidelines.’

Metro.co.uk has contacted the BBC for comment.

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