A BBC weather forecaster has appeared to criticise Gary Lineker for speaking out about the government’s migrant policy, stating the Match of the Day presenter “thinks he’s so different from the rest of us”.
Paul Hudson, who presents the weather on the corporation’s regional news programme Look North, said in a tweet: “I would love to share my views on [Lineker] and how he thinks he’s so different from the rest of us at the BBC and the rules we have to follow but instead I’ll stick to clouds.”
The tweet has since been deleted.
Hudson was responding to a tweet from fellow BBC journalist Paul Murphy, who posted a picture of a cloud along with the message: “Don’t want to get into trouble sharing my thoughts on our Gary. So here is a fab snow cloud I captured this aft on the east coast.”
That comes amid a growing backlash over Lineker’s remarks against the government’s efforts to reduce migration.
On Twitter, the 62-year-old sparked a debate about impartiality after comparing the language used to unveil a new Government asylum seeker policy to 1930s Germany.
Following the uproar, Lineker stated that he stood by his tweets and that he was looking forward to hosting Match of the Day on Saturday night.
However, the BBC then declared that Lineker would step down as host of the highlights show until a “agreed and clear position” on his usage of social media was achieved.
That prompted a crisis within the BBC, with footballers threatening to boycott Match of the Day and a growing list of celebrities refusing to go on television in support of Lineker, resulting in the cancellation of hours of sports programming.
After the fallout from Lineker’s dismissal, tonight’s MOTD will air without a presenter, pundits, or numerous regular commenters.
In conversations with other Twitter users, Paul Hudson stepped up his criticism of Lineker, saying that different standards should be applied to BBC journalists working in journalism and those working in other professions.
Replying to the forecaster’s original tweet, Daniel Norris said: “You should be able to say exactly how you feel about any topic and share your opinions freely on this platform.”
Hudson replied: “But we can’t. I’d get sacked. You can argue the rules are wrong, but The rules of my employment are very clear. And that’s the point I’m making.”
In another follow-up tweet he added: “Point I’m making is none of us in the BBC are allowed to voice our views. Those are the rules whether you agree with them or not – and the rules should apply to everyone in the BBC.”