GARY Lineker has attacked a Conservative MP after the TV presenter was criticised for calling for the Rwanda deportation scheme to be ditched.

Outspoken Tory backbencher Jonathan Gullis claimed the Match of the Day presenter’s backing of an open letter which took aim at the Government’s asylum policy was a breach of the BBC’s impartiality rules.

But Lineker, who has previously won a battle with the BBC over his political views, hit back on Twitter/X, saying: “Jonathan hasn’t read the new guidelines…or, should I say, had someone read them to him?”

It sparked a furious reply from the Stoke-on-Trent MP, who lashed out at Lineker in a rant about the Israel-Hamas war, accusing the TV presenter of being unconcerned about the Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

He said: “Gary can you tell us when you plan to demand the release of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas?

“Just when I searched your X feed, the word ‘hostages’ came up with no results.

“I know you once said Hamas are ‘truly awful’ in a reply to someone on X, but seeing as you are not bound by the same rules others in the BBC are, would you be willing to call Hamas ‘terrorists’ like everyone else?”

The National:

Gullis (above, left) is one of a number of Tory MPs who are unhappy with the BBC’s policy of not directly calling Hamas terrorists.

READ MORE: Rejigged Rwanda plan 'does not go far enough', say Tory lawyers

He added: “As for illegal migrants crossing in small boats, I want to see a stop to the trade in human life and deter people from unnecessarily risking their lives to come from France – a safe country (UN founder and Nato member).”

Quoting “the great” former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Gullis added: “If they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Open letter

Lineker was criticised on the front page of Monday’s Daily Mail in a story about his involvement with the open letter regarding the Government’s efforts to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The letter stated: “Our government is still trying to banish people fleeing persecution to Rwanda despite the highest court in the land ruling the scheme unlawful.

“These policies aren't working for refugees and they aren't working for local communities. That's why we have come together to say we've had enough.

“Enough of the division. Enough of the short-term thinking. Enough of the wasted human potential. And it's why we now call for something better.”

Adding his name to the letter Lineker also released a statement, saying: “Refugees have escaped unthinkable horrors in their home countries. We need a new system that reflects the will of the British people.”

The BBC’s impartiality rules tell the presenters of “flagship” programmes: “Don't take up an official role in campaigning groups or become involved in fundraising for campaigning.”

They also bar major presenters from criticising the “character of individual politicians in the UK” and from endorsing or attacking political parties.

Lineker won a battle with BBC chief Tim Davie after he was pulled from Match of the Day for comparing the way the Conservatives spoke about asylum seekers to “Germany in the 30s”.