Gary Lineker, the BBC’s highest paid presenter and rider of many a controversial media storm, has been dubbed the “Tucker Carlson of the UK” by resentful colleagues, The Times reports.

This comes after Lineker this week waded into discussion of the government’s bill to send migrants arriving in the UK to Rwanda. The incoming BBC Chair of Governors, Samir Shah, gave an unequivocal verdict on Lineker’s latest social media posts.

Shah said Lineker’s posts on Twitter (now X) this week mocking Conservative politicians appeared to break new social media rules put in place in September.

“I would imagine the BBC is now looking into that and considering its response,” Shah told Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee in a hearing that precedes his formal appointment.

This weekend The Times reports that Lineker’s BBC colleagues have dubbed him “the Tucker Carlson of the UK,” quoting one insider saying:

“People are sick of it. He doesn’t care that the BBC has more important things to deal with. Personal brands count for so much more now. He’s the Tucker Carlson of the UK. Both are making money out of the gullible.”

Carlson was famously divisive and outspoken from his position of influence at Fox News until his abrupt sacking in April of this year.

Another colleague said that the guidelines were fit for purpose and were not to blame. “He had the freedom to express his passionately held views. All he was asked was not to attack other people — not least those who have been elected to express their opinions.”

And The Times reports that numerous staff have complained that Lineker is failing to abide by rules brought in as a result of his previous tweets criticising the government.

Lineker was suspended in March for tweeting that government asylum policy had echoes of Nazi Germany. He was swiftly reinstated three days later following a weekend of chaos, in which his colleagues effectively went on strike and BBC sports coverage fell off air.

Of this week’s uproar, allies of Lineker say that his messages were sent after he was provoked by the politicians, which entitled him to respond.

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Source: DLine

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