Gary Lineker should be sacked by the BBC after a series of outbursts on social media, GB News readers have emphatically decided.
A poll of more than 22,000 GB News readers concluded the UK’s national broadcaster should give the 63-year-old footballer-turned-TV-host the boot.
Almost nine-in-10 respondents (88 per cent) argued the BBC should sack Lineker, with just 12 per cent claiming the Match of the Day host should stay in place.
GB News viewers also took to the comments to vent their frustrations with the former England striker.
Gary Lineker with an inset of GB News’ poll
“I’d be happy if the guy disappeared from TV and social media,” one said.
Another added: “He needs to keep his big mouth shut.”
A third wrote: “Yes sack him and close the biased corporation down.”
Lineker, who played for boyhood club Leicester City and won the FA Cup with Tottenham Hotspur before turning his attention to TV screens, was trending on social media after endorsing a post calling for Israel to be banned from international football.
Supporters of the terrorist organisation Hamas lauded Lineker for his intervention, saying: “Renowned English broadcaster calls for Israel to be banned from international [football].”
However, a petition calling for the BBC to sack Lineker was launched after the original repost.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps intervened in the debacle, insisting Lineker “sticks to football”.
Lineker removed the report from his social media account and it is believed the 63-year-old thought the post was confirmation Israel had been banned rather than a campaign supporting its exclusion.
The UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism and a number of Shapps’ fellow Conservative MPs also condemned Lineker.
Tory MP Damian Green, who sits on the Commons Culture, Media & Sport Committee, said: “Gary Lineker continues with ever more controversial views, in this case directly affecting football. I want to see the BBC enforce its own guidelines on this.”
Michael Fabricant, another Conservative MP, added: “Gary Lineker is out of control. Surely the BBC must take action now that he is, in effect, giving comfort to the terror organisation Hamas.’
Former Labour MP Lord Ian Austin also said: “Gary Lineker is … undermining confidence in the impartiality on which the BBC’s public funding depends and is making the corporation’s board and senior managers look utterly foolish.”
Lineker, who took home around £1.35million in 2022/23, was embroiled in a major row last year over Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda asylum policy.
He was briefly forced to “step back” as Match of the Day host after comparing the rhetoric around the illegal immigration scheme to 1930s Germany.
Following a mass boycott by his colleagues and a Match of the Day episode without accompanying commentary or analysis, the BBC eventually decided to reinstate Lineker.
Incoming BBC chairman Samir Shah confirmed last month that seperate posts by Lineker to Tory MPs also appeared to break the broadcaster’s new social media guidelines.
Asked by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee about “what appears to be the eternal BBC problem with Gary Lineker”, Shah said: “I think the initial two posts were considered, as far as I’m aware, did not breach that.
“But I think this last one, the one that identified specifically to politicians, seems to me on the face of it, a breach of those guidelines and I imagine the BBC is looking into that.”