Gary Lineker ‘doesn’t fear BBC suspension’ and stands by his criticism of government
The ex-England footballer is a freelance broadcaster for the BBC
TV presenter Gary Lineker has said he does not fear suspension from the BBC in an impartiality row and stands by the comments he made on social media about the government’s asylum seeker policy.
The former England striker turned TV personality compared the language used by the government to lay out asylum plans to that used by ‘Germany in the 30s’. When asked by reporters outside his London home whether he stood by his tweet, the Match of The Day host replied: “Course.” And when asked if he feared being suspended he said: “No.”
In the tweet, the retired footballer, 62, wrote: “There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?”
Downing Street later described the remarks as ‘not acceptable’, ‘inappropriate’ and ‘disappointing’. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer, said it was ‘important for the BBC to retain impartiality if it is to retain the trust of the public who pay the licence fee’.
The BBC said on Wednesday it was having a ‘frank conversation’ with Lineker about the BBC’s guidelines on remaining impartial. In response to some of the criticism, Lineker tweeted on Wednesday: “I’ll continue to try and speak up for those poor souls that have no choice.”
According to The Independent, Piers Morgan defended the star’s criticism of the UK government’s new asylum policy, arguing that the Match Of The Day host is ‘not a news reporter’. Though a BBC source said that the corporation was taking the matter ‘seriously’ and expects to have a ‘frank conversation’ with the ex-England striker.
Morgan and Lineker are known to have clashed online multiple times previously on various issues, but on Talk TV on Wednesday, Morgan said he had ‘no problem’ with Lineker expressing his personal views online. He said: “Gary got a bit carried away, as he tends to do. We get into it quite regularly, this is what he does and he would say the same about me.
“We both have strong opinions, we both believe in what we say and we express them forcefully, but we agree to disagree.”
Morgan went on to say that had Lineker made his remarks while presenting Match Of The Day, the criticism would have been ‘justified’.
BBC director-general Tim Davie told the BBC he had not spoken to Lineker, before being asked about how many ‘strikes’ he has had on impartiality and social media. Mr Davie said: “I wouldn’t talk specifically about individuals; I don’t think it’s right. I think the BBC absolutely puts the highest value on impartiality and that’s clearly important to us.”
Lineker is a freelance broadcaster for the BBC, not a permanent member of staff, and is not responsible for news or political content so does not need to adhere to the same rules on impartiality as other employees.
Woman tragically dies in Manchester petrol station incident
Emergency services attended the scene but the woman was sadly confirmed dead
An elderly woman has died following a crash at a petrol station in Manchester.
Officers believe the woman, who was in her 70s, suffered a medical episode while at the wheel of her car when she crashed into a small brick wall.
She had been trying to drive the Nissan Micra off the forecourt of the Asda petrol station in Moston Lane, Harpurhey, at approximately 10.45am on Wednesday, March 22nd.
Emergency services attended the scene but the woman was sadly confirmed dead. Greater Manchester Police have appealed for any witnesses to help them.
A section of stretch of road, near the junction with Rochdale Road, was closed for a number of hours while emergency services dealt with the incident. Paramedics and two air ambulances were seen.
Anyone with information or on the forecourt at the time of the incident should contact police on 0161 856 4741 quoting log 1103-22/3/2023.
Information can also be reported online or by using the LiveChat function at www.gmp.police.uk. If you can’t report online, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
‘Postbox to heaven’ now installed at Greater Manchester crematorium
Such a lovely idea!
A postbox allowing people to send letters to their loved ones in heaven has now been installed at a Greater Manchester crematorium.
The white and gold Royal Mail letterbox can be found at Howe Bridge crematorium in Atherton, Wigan Borough. It was the idea of nine-year-old Matilda Handy who wanted to send a letter to her late grandparents to help her cope with the grief of her loss.
The first was set-up at Gedling Crematorium, near Nottingham, and proved a popular concept with over 100 letters and cards posted within its first few weeks. Speaking to Granada Reports, Matilda’s mother Leanne, who is Gedling Crematorium’s Memorial Advisor, said: “She was four when my mum died, and never met my dad.
“Now the postbox is in place, I am so pleased that local people are using it, and taking some comfort from it, as another way of feeling connected to their loved ones.”
UK crematorium and cemetery operator, Westerleigh Group is now rolling out the postboxes across all of its sites.
Lindsey Edwardson, Site Manager at Howe Bridge Crematorium, said: “Feedback has shown that the process of writing a letter, or perhaps a birthday card, to a lost loved one has already brought therapeutic comfort to many people.
“Now, the communities in and around our crematorium can do the same thing. No address or stamps are required on any of the letters or cards. This is just another way in which we can provide emotional support to local families.”
A post on the Howe Bridge Crematorium Facebook page read: “We are proud to announce the official opening of our Letters to Heaven Post Box. Our thanks go to Alison Regan Civil Funeral Celebrant for her beautiful service to commemorate its opening.
“For all those who wish, you can post a letter to your loved ones that are no longer with us at the Post Box.”
Woman with undiagnosed brain tumour had to visit doctors nine times to get scan
Doctors told her if she had not had the surgery within a few hours or days then it could have been a different story
A woman with an undiagnosed brain tumour who was told ‘we don’t give out brain scans to 24-year-olds willy nilly’ is now campaigning for change.
Claudia Laird, from Burnley, went to see a medical professional on nine occasions as she tried to get to the bottom of why she felt so unwell. One week later, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Claudia told ITV Granada Reports: “I think the initial reaction was trusting of the GP. I was in shock after, because I found out I definitely needed that brain scan.
“It was all quite quick – they weren’t sure what was on the brain at first. It was all up in the air.
“I can’t believe I went through that. We were just waiting for the doctors to tell us the outcome. It was challenging, but more so looking back on it now. At the time, you don’t know the outcome.”
Claudia was experiencing symptoms of confusion, hallucinations and fatigue. But doctors put it down to what they thought to be gastroenteritis. After discovering the tumour, Claudia had to then undergo an eight-hour operation.
Doctors told her if she had not had the surgery within a few hours or days then it could have been a different story. She said: “I was asleep all the time. My friends would call me lazy. I thought it was because I was working long hours.
“I walked into a window thinking it was a door. I spent a night in bed with my mum and dad because I was hallucinating.”
Claudia is now training to be a paediatrician, to give people the same level of care. After the difficulty she had in getting diagnosed, Claudia has decided she does not want the same mistakes to happen to someone else.
Claudia said: “We need everybody to understand the difficulty of getting that diagnosis. It took me over nine times to get that diagnosis. I went to opticians, GP and A&E just to push to say ‘I really don’t think something is right here’.
“I want to see some changes, some research, funding into brain tumours. 1% of cancer research goes into brain tumours.”
The NHS lists the symptoms of a brain tumour as:
- seizures (fits)
- persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness.
- mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality.
- progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
- vision or speech problems.