BBC responds to complaints over Gary Lineker’s reply to Suella Braverman’s tweet

The BBC has issued a response after receiving complaints about Match of the Day host Gary Lineker’s social media activity.

Earlier this month, the former footballer hit out at former Secretary Suella Braverman on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, in view of his 8.9 million followers.

It came after Suella claimed it was “unacceptable to desecrate Armistice Day” with what she described as a “hate march”.

The former Home Secretary, who Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has since sacked, faced serious criticism for her comments about the recent pro-Palestinian protests, with Sir Keir Starmer accusing her of “sowing the seeds of hatred”.

On November 3, the Prime Minister released a statement reading: “To plan protests on Armistice Day is provocative and disrespectful, and there is a clear and present risk that the Cenotaph and other war memorials could be desecrated, something that would be an affront to the British public and the values we stand for.

READ MORE: Gary Lineker regrets tweet that sparked enormous BBC impartiality row


“The right to remember, in peace and dignity, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for those freedoms must be protected.

“I have asked the Home Secretary to support the Met Police in doing everything necessary to protect the sanctity of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.”

Suella retweeted the PM, writing: “I agree with the Prime Minister. It is entirely unacceptable to desecrate Armistice Day with a hate march through London.

“If it goes ahead there is an obvious risk of serious public disorder, violence and damage as well as giving offence to millions of decent British people.”

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Taking issue with Suella’s description of the protests, Gary hit back at the former Home Secretary.

“Marching and calling for a ceasefire and peace so that more innocent children don’t get killed is not really the definition of a hate march,” he wrote.

Gary’s response to the divisive political figure sparked several complaints to the BBC, which have since been addressed by the broadcaster.

In a statement on November 14, the BBC said: “We’ve received complaints about a reply from Gary Lineker on X, sent to then Home Secretary Suella Braverman.”

Officially responding to the complaints, they continued: “Our social media guidance outlines that within certain parameters, presenters of flagship programmes on the BBC are free to express opinions about the issues that matter to them.

“This includes issues that may be the subject of public and political debate.”

Suella was sacked from her role as Home Secretary on Monday and has since been replaced by James Cleverly.

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