Oliver Dowden says people should swim in their own lane
Gary Lineker has become the centre of another spat with the Conservative Party after an apparent swipe at the controversial BBC presenter by Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden.
In his interview this morning with Sir Trevor Philips on Sky News, Dowden was asked to explain an article he had penned for a Sunday newspaper where he had made a reference to the Match of the Day presenter.
Philips asked: “Can I just ask you?You’ve written an article this morning in which you have attacked ‘doomsters’ and you have referred to ‘amateur BBC pundits who can offer as much insight as you can on football tactics’. Do you want to state who you had in mind there?”
Dowden appeared to squirm and responded: “I think it’s fairly obvious some of the people who have been spewing their thoughts.”
But Philips pressed on: “Could the words Gary Lineker be floating in this conversation?”
READ MORE: Gary Lineker blasted by ex BBC presenter for airing political views
Dowden retorted: “Well I think people should swim in their own lane. I know nothing about football punditry I can assure you of that.
“The wider point is that there are a lot of people talking this country down but actually I see a country where we have a manufacturing sector now larger than France’s, we are dominating in Artificial Intelligence.
“There are so many reasons to be optimistic about this country and yet this doomster scenario they are constantly predicting doesn’t actually happen because the real strength in our economy.”
The words came after Lineker waded into the Rwanda Bill debate and was even criticised by the incoming BBC chairman for the way he attacked Tory MPs personally including Stoke North’s Jonathan Gullis on his Twitter account.
Lineker has regular been accused of abusing his position as the BBC’s top paid presenter and once compared the government to the Nazis over its attempt to control illegal immigration.
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Philips joked: “So the message to my fellow political anchor Gary Lineker is ‘stay in your lane’.”
Dowden replied: “I think each person should play to their strengths.”
It comes as pressure is mounting on the BBC to sack Lineker for constantly breaking social media rules and breaking the Corporation’s rules on impartiality.
When he was suspended earlier this year though, Direcotr General Tim Davie had to retreat and allow him back on the show when others refused to produce it in support of the ex-England footballer.
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