Gary Lineker tweets a 'work in progress' as BBC boss admits talks with presenter about 'where he draws line'
Tim Davie told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday "in terms of where he is, he's in a lot better state"
The BBC’s director-general has said that Gary Lineker’s tweets are a “work in progress” as the football pundit faces ongoing backlash for his political posts which some have argued go against BBC impartiality guidelines.
Tim Davie told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee yesterday: “I've talked to Gary. He has sent thousands of tweets, and overall the behaviour, in terms of where he is, is in a lot better state. That conversation goes on.
“I’m very supportive of Gary I think he’s a brilliant presenter. It is a work in progress in terms of where he draws the line. We’ve had a good conversation I think he understands the guidelines.”
In August, Lineker tweeted: “As a politician how could you ever, under any circumstances, bring yourself to vote for pumping sewage into our seas? Unfathomable!”
Conservative MP for Winchester Steve Brine questioned Davie on the recent tweet by Lineker, saying: “I mean we’re paying him £1.35million pounds, he’s down £10,000 on last year but I’m sure he’ll get by when his energy bill comes in."
Mr Brine added: “He’s a brilliant pundit on football and he’s entertaining, I don’t care what he thinks about water quality.
“My constituents are taxed through the licence fee, if they don’t pay it they go to prison for somebody to give their opinion on water quality?”
Mr Davie argued that there had been an improvement in Lineker’s tweets and that he believed “people are smart enough to look at this sensibly".
He continued: “He’s had a massive improvement to where he was a few years ago in terms of his entry into party politics.
“I think that banning people completely from any issue-based tweeting is probably the wrong position to do but there’s a standard there, we talk about it and I’m very supportive of him.”
Elsewhere, Mr Davie was questioned on Joe Lycett’s recent appearance on Laura Kuenssberg’s new politics show.
He supported the presenter and said she conducted herself in “exemplary fashion”.
The comedian appeared to sarcastically share his support for newly-appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss and said he was “very right-wing” and that he felt “reassured” following Ms Truss’ live interview in the studio.