THE BBC and Gary Lineker must hurry up and “sort out” their standoff, Rishi Sunak demanded last night – as football fans suffered another day of coverage chaos.
Banging heads together, the Prime Minister also pleaded for some “perspective” as the row over the Match of the Day star’s Nazi jibe entered a second week while people are “dying” in the Channel.
The BBC and Gary Lineker must ‘sort out’ their standoff, Rishi Sunak demanded
The Prime Minister also pleaded for some ‘perspective’ on the row
Mr Sunak warned the BBC is “not about one person” as Corporation bosses scrambled to find a solution to the impartiality row with their highest paid star.
Speaking to reporters on his way to California, the PM said on Sunday the crisis was for not for the Government to step into but for “them to sort out, between Gary Lineker, the BBC and their presenters.”
“I think the issue between Gary Lineker and the BBC is one they should resolve. I hope they can resolve it in a timely fashion,” he added.
But he insisted “we have really got to have perspective” after Mr Lineker’s controversial jibe that the Government was behaving like 1930s Germany.
He warned: ‘The real substantive issue here is about the fact that 45,000 people illegally crossed the Channel last year.
“That number has gone up four or five times in just two years, and is set to keep increasing.
“People are dying and being exploited by criminal gangs. And it means that the most vulnerable people that we want to help are not able to be helped.
“That is the substantive issue that we should be talking about.
“And I believe that we’ve put forward a set of proposals and a policy that will resolve that situation and we’ll do it in an effective way, it will do it fairly and it will do it with compassion.
“And that is what we should be talking about. And I’m happy to talk about that policy with anyone.
Hitting back at critics, the PM went on: “This is a serious issue facing our country.
“I know it’s a priority for the British people, it’s a priority for me, and I think the policy we put forward is the right one, not only because it’s effective and will be effective, but because it’s a morally just and compassionate way to resolve this issue.”
Speaking to reporters on a flight to San Diego, the PM joked: “I wish I had more time to watch Match of the Day, I wish Southampton were winning more when I did watch it.”
However the PM cut loose his former boss Richard Sharpe insisting he had “nothing to do with” the banker’s appointment as BBC Chairman.
Mr Sharpe – an ex-Goldman Sachs financier and Tory donor – is on the ropes as the impartiality row engulfs the corporation, with PM refusing to defend his old pal.
The PM said the real issue was that ‘45,000 people illegally crossed the Channel last year’
The PM cut loose his former boss Richard Sharpe, insisting he had ‘nothing to do with’ the banker’s appointment as BBC Chairman