Lineker: BBC seeks to end tweet row, brings Lineker back

LONDON: The BBC called a truce Monday in its showdown with sports commentator Gary Lineker, reversing its suspension of the former soccer great for a tweet that criticized the UK government’s contentious new migration policy.
The about-face came a weekend of chaos and crisis for the publicly funded national broadcaster, which faced a huge backlash after sidelining one of its best-known hosts because he expressed a political opinion. “Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend,” BBC director-general Tim Davie said. Lineker, 62, said he was “glad that we have found a way forward. ”
The furore stems from a plan announced last week by Britain’s Conservative government to try to stop tens of thousands of migrants a year from reaching the country in small boats across the English Channel. A new bill will bar asylum claims by anyone who reaches the UK by unauthorized means and will compel the government to detain and deport them “to their home country or a safe third country. ”
The legislation has been condemned by refugee groupsand the UN, and the government concedes it may breach international law.
Lineker, one of England’s most lauded players and the corporation’s highest-paid television presenter, was suspended after he described the plan on Twitter as “immeasurably cruel” and called the government’s language “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s. ” The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, two right-leaning newspapers long critical of the BBC, expressed outrage over what they described in headlines as Lineker’s “Nazi” comment, although he hadn’t used the word.

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