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Gary Lineker is accused of breaching BBC guidelines and told to 'keep his political views to himself' as cricketing icons are drawn into Brexit Twitter spat that erupted between ex-England footballers (3 Pics)

Gary Lineker has been accused of breaching BBC guidelines and told to 'keep his political views to himself' as fellow former sports stars joined the Brexit Twitter spat the ex-footballer began with Peter Shilton.
The Match of the Day host last night caused a rift amongst his fellow 1986 World Cup squad when he called out his 'hero' and England legend, Peter Shilton, over Brexit after the former goalkeeper praised Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The 58-year-old presenter also told former teammate, Chris Waddle, to 'stick to football' when he said it would be best if Theresa May left the EU with no deal.
But a BBC colleague, former cricketer Jonathan Agnew who presents Test Match Special on BBC5 Live, then joined the debate and accused Lineker of breaching the corporation's strict guidelines on publicly expressing political views.
He tweeted this afternoon: '@GaryLineker Gary. You are the face of BBC Sport. Please observe BBC editorial guidelines and keep your political views, whatever they are and whatever the subject, to yourself. I’d be sacked if I followed your example. Thanks.' 

Lineker has rebuffed criticism of his outspoken political stance in the past by saying he is a freelancer and so does not have to abide by the BBC guidelines.
In February last year when he was told by a Twitter user that as a BBC employee he should not comment on politics he replied: 'I'm freelance and I'll talk sh** about whatever I like on my twitter feed, thanks.'
The BBC's editorial guidelines state staff, presenters and even those who contribute to programmes can affect the corporation's impartiality through their 'external activities', especially if there is a conflict of interest. 
It reads: 'The external activities of staff, presenters and others who contribute to our output can also affect the BBC's reputation for impartiality. 
'A conflict of interest may arise when the external activities of anyone involved in making our content affects the BBC's reputation for integrity, independence and high standards, or may be reasonably perceived to do so.
'There is a danger of conflict of interest in every area of programme or content making.'
But tonight the BBC confirmed that as Lineker is not involved in any of the corporation's political coverage he is free to express his opinions without it affecting his impartiality on MOTD.
A BBC spokesman told MailOnline: 'Gary is not involved in any news or political output for the BBC and as such any expression of his personal political views does not affect the BBC’s impartiality.'  
Lineker later responded to his fellow Remain-voting BBC colleague, Agnew, that he was responsible for his own Twitter account. 
He tweeted: 'Jonathan, I’m the face of my own Twitter account. I’ll continue to tweet what I like and if folk disagree with me then so be it. Thank you so much for your concern, which, I imagine, wouldn’t be a concern at all if you agreed with me.' 
After receiving a flurry of responses from supporters of Lineker's pro-remain stance, former England fast bowler, Agnew, back-tracked and told the football presenter to 'keep going'.
He tweeted: 'Ok. View is overwhelmingly keep going Gary! You can stop the aggro now... @GaryLineker.'
Last month Lineker, an outspoken Remainer, appeared at a 'People's Vote' rally calling for a second referendum and has said stopping 'frightfully boring' Theresa May's Brexit is more important to him than football. 
As Mrs May survived her no confidence vote last night the former Spurs and Barcelona striker poured scorn on Peter Shilton's praise for Tory Brexiteer Rees-Mogg.  
Shilton, who played for Lineker's beloved Leicester City, tweeted: 'Have been so impressed with @Jacob_Rees_Mogg in the last few days. He really knows what he is talking about and puts it across in a calm and calculated manner!'  
Gary Lineker responded to him and said: 'What's that old saying? You should never see a tweet from your heroes?'. 
Former England midfielder Peter Reid also replied to Shilton's tweet and said: 'I'll agree to disagree on that one Goalie. He's (JRM) loopy, doesn't know his a**e from his elbow'. 
Fellow 1990 World Cup hero Chris Waddle also got involved in the Brexit debate and said: 'Well done Theresa May, now let's leave Brexit with no deal we will be fine'.
Friend and former teammate Lineker then replied: 'Stick to football', to which Waddle's supporters replied: 'That's rich coming from you pal'.
Waddle seemed to later delete his initial tweet praising Mrs May.
As the good-natured debate continued, Shilton tweeted with a 'thumbs up' emoji: 'squad line up lads - live debate ? @bbcquestiontime @GaryLineker @chriswaddle93 @reid6peter.'
Lineker then playfully mocked his tweet by referencing England's woeful performance at penalty shoot-outs by adding: '#bbcextratime For your sake, I hope it doesn’t go to penalties.'
Shilton declared the Brexiteer footballers were now 'back in the game' after a fan tweeted that they were 'two-all now on the World Cup Brexit stakes @GaryLineker joined by @reid6peter against @chriswaddle93 and @Peter_Shilton.' 
After Jonathan 'Aggers' Agnew entered the debate, former England batsman Mark Butcher criticised the commentator for not making his criticism of Lineker through a private channel.
He tweeted in reply to Agnew: 'I’m sure this is a friendly piece of advice from a colleague, Aggers? Perhaps an e mail or a DM would have done the trick?'
Another Twitter user pointed out the irony of his public post.
Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan also waded into the Brexit discourse when he suggested Britain needed a 'no-nonsense' Donald Trump-style leader.
The Ashes-winning captain later back-tracked after his post attracted thousands of angry responses. 
Lineker has said that blocking Brexit is more important to him than football as he backed a campaign for a fresh referendum.
The Match Of The Day host said he was more bewildered and worried than ever after catching up on developments since returning from Russia following his coverage of the World Cup.
He also threw his support behind the People's Vote 'summer of action' that involved a series of rallies and protests across the country.
He said: 'I find the whole thing more bewildering and worrying than ever.
'Whether you voted Leave or Remain, did anyone really vote for the mess we seem to be in, let alone the prospect of no deal with all the terrible consequences attached to that? 
'There are some things in life that, even for someone like me, are more important than football. This is one of them. I am not a politician but I know when something is going wrong and right now Brexit feels like it is going very wrong indeed.
'The politicians seem unable to resolve the problem the people gave them in voting to Leave'.
Lineker frequently discusses Brexit on his Twitter page, railing against what he said were the dire consequences of a no deal Brexit.
'We're not actually, really, seriously, possibly contemplating a no deal Brexit, are we? Democracy is democracy and all that but there are limits to how much we want to self-harm, surely,' he wrote.
Last month he hosted a Q&A at a 'People's Vote' rally in Westminster attended by 3,000 people and interviewed Boris Johnson's brother Jo, who quit as a minister over Mrs May's handling of Brexit.

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