GARY Lineker is set to return to the presenter's chair after reaching a deal with the BBC

The Match of the Day presenter was taken off the air after Downing Street called the ex-footballer's tweets criticising immigration policy "unacceptable". 

However, many of the corporation's sports presenters withdrew their labour in solidarity with Lineker over the weekend, causing major disruption to its sports programming. 

Now, Lineker and BBC management have reached a deal allowing him to return - with a review into social media guidelines pledged for those outside of news and current affairs. 

Director general of the BBC, Tim Davie, said: “Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this.

"The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air.

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“Impartiality is important to the BBC. It is also important to the public. The BBC has a commitment to impartiality in its Charter and a commitment to freedom of expression. That is a difficult balancing act to get right where people are subject to different contracts and on air positions, and with different audience and social media profiles.

"The BBC’s social media guidance is designed to help manage these sometimes difficult challenges and I am aware there is a need to ensure that the guidance is up to this task. It should be clear, proportionate, and appropriate.

“Accordingly, we are announcing a review led by an independent expert – reporting to the BBC – on its existing social media guidance, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside news and current affairs. The BBC and myself are aware that Gary is in favour of such a review.

“Shortly, the BBC will announce who will conduct that review. Whilst this work is undertaken, the BBC’s current social media guidance remains in place.

“Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend.”

Gary Lineker has said he will abide by the current BBC social media guidelines while the review takes place. 

"I have been presenting sport on the BBC for almost 3 decades and am immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world," he said. 

"I cannot wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday."