The journalist and broadcaster Alastair Campbell has slammed the BBC for "craven political cowardice" after deciding to have Gary Lineker step back from presenting Match of the Day.

The decision was made due to an impartiality row over comments Lineker made criticising language around the UK Government's new asylum policy.

The 62-year-old will step back from presenting the flagship BBC football show until an agreement is reached on his social media use.

The BBC said in a statement that they found Lineker's "recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines".

It added he should "keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies".

What did Alastair Campbell have to say about the decision?

When being interviewed by Ben Brown on BBC News about what had happened, Campbell did not hold back in his incredulity over the action.

Campbell hosts a podcast called The Rest is Politics with politician Rory Stewart, which is produced by Gary Lineker's company Goalhanger Podcasts.

When Ben Brown made the link at the start of the interview saying Campbell had "business links" with Lineker, he replied by saying it was "unbelievable" that the fact had to be stated.

He added: "Does it mean, for example, that every BBC bulletin now should begin with the words 'We should point out to viewers that the BBC is chaired by a man who makes massive donations to the Conservative party'?"

Campbell went on: "I'm making the point that I think that plays into the bigger point I'm going to make to you that I think this decision is driven by an utterly craven political cowardice at the top of the BBC."

An assertion was made from Campbell that Lineker had effectively been told to step back because he wasn't "towing the line" and he praised Ian Wright who said he would not appear on Match of the Day in "solidarity" with Lineker.

Campbell added: "There's a great quote that comes from 1930s Germany, because there's been a lot of discussion about 1930s Germany recently: 'Never be a bystander'

"Ian Wright has done the right thing in saying 'I will not stand by whilst someone gets treated unfairly by political cowards at the top of the BBC'."