Britons say BBC was wrong to suspend Gary Lineker

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
March 11, 2023, 9:16 PM GMT+0

The public holds a favourable view of the presenter

Headlines this week have been dominated by the row between the government, the BBC, and Gary Lineker over the latter’s public criticism of the former’s asylum policy.

Following the Match of the Day’s suspension by the BBC yesterday, presenters at several other BBC sports programmes have walked out in solidarity with Lineker, forcing the BBC to change their programming.

Now a new YouGov snap poll shows that Gary Lineker continues to have the public’s backing after the events of this week, with Britons having a favourable view of Gary Lineker by 50% to 30%. Conservative voters tend to have a negative view, by 56% to 32%, while more than seven in ten Labour voters (72%) have a positive view.

A previous YouGov poll showed that Britons tended to think that BBC sports presenters should be allowed to air their political views publicly when not on BBC programmes, and so it is perhaps unsurprising to see that the public also tend to say that the BBC was wrong to suspend Lineker, by 53% to 27%.

Conservative voters again tend to feel the opposite, with 51% saying the BBC was right in its actions compared to 36% who think it was wrong. Three quarters of Labour voters (75%) say the BBC made a mistake.

The walkout by other football presenters is similarly welcomed by the public, with 51% saying they thought the likes of Alan Shearer and Ian Wright did the right thing in refusing to appear in their usual shows. Again, a large majority of Labour voters (75%) back the move, while half of Tories oppose it (51%).

See results here, here and here

Photo: Getty

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