Daily Mail

BBC is f lunking the test on political bias


SO much for Tim Davie’s spirited promise to man the barricades against political bias at the BBC. Today, the barricades stand empty and the director-general’s credibilit­y is in danger of suffering a shattering blow.

Yesterday he had a golden opportunit­y to restore trust in the corporatio­n’s impartiali­ty. But he flunked it.

There are growing fears he will let sanctimoni­ous footballer turned TV pundit Gary Lineker get away with his repellent Twitter outburst comparing the Government’s policy for ending the small boats crisis to the evils of the Third Reich.

Nobody denies the presenter is entitled to his opinions, however offensive. But it is highly inappropri­ate for the broadcaste­r’s highest-paid star to spout off in such a politicall­y partisan manner. If the BBC is not neutral, it is nothing.

With Lineker having been warned before about publicly airing his ultra-woke views, the corporatio­n could have called his bluff and fired him. Or at the very least insisted that strict impartiali­ty became a condition of his future employment.

But yesterday, as the controvers­y continued to rage, Mr Davie did what too many BBC bosses do: dithered and scurried for the bunker. To compound his humiliatio­n, Lineker spent yesterday laughing in his employer’s face. He is making Mr Davie look spineless and foolish.

But perhaps there’s a reason why the corporatio­n is so reluctant to stand up to its £1.35million man. Lineker’s metropolit­an bien pensant worldview is shared overwhelmi­ngly at Television Centre. Imagine if a presenter had taken to social media in support of the illegal migration crackdown. They’d have been out on their ear.

This unedifying episode reinforces how woefully detached the BBC remains from the real world, where most people – the ones who pay the licence fee – want stronger border controls.

If the corporatio­n cannot guarantee political even-handedness, it can no longer justify being funded by the taxpayer.

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