Gary Lineker intends to stay on Twitter despite Elon Musk takeover

Gary Lineker is a prolific tweeter (Ian Walton/PA) (PA Archive)
Gary Lineker is a prolific tweeter (Ian Walton/PA) (PA Archive)

Gary Lineker has said he has no intention of leaving Twitter amid the ongoing upheaval at the tech company following its takeover by Elon Musk.

The BBC Match Of The Day host and former England footballer, 61, said he was “obviously” aware of changes taking place but had not noticed any effect on his own social media account.

Stephen Fry, Whoopi Goldberg and model Gigi Hadid are among the famous names who have quit in recent days, citing Mr Musk’s new direction for the platform.

The billionaire has suggested he will allow more “free speech” and allow previously banned accounts – including those which broke rules around inciting violence – to return.

Asked whether he also planned to leave Twitter, Lineker, a prolific user, told the PA news agency: “Not at the moment, I enjoy Twitter.

“Obviously there are things going on but I’ve not really noticed it’s had an effect on my Twitter at the moment. We’ll have to wait and see what it is and where it’s going.

“He (Mr Musk) seems to be throwing ideas out every five minutes and we’re all waiting to see what it will be like and what’s going to happen. It’s interesting times.

“I’m not going to stand here and say I’m going to come off Twitter because I’m not.

“It’s a big platform and I try to use it for what I think are important issues as well as having a bit of fun and promoting things in my job and talking about football.”

Some of Lineker’s posts on Twitter have landed him in trouble in the past.

In October, the BBC found he had breached its impartiality rules over a comment he made about the Conservative Party having “Russian donors”.

Mr Musk began firing thousands of Twitter staff last week as part of cost-cutting measures and told workers in his first address to them on Thursday that he was banning remote working and that “difficult times” lay ahead.

This week, he faced criticism for introducing – a now reversed – option for users to pay a subscription fee of £6.99 a month for a blue verification badge, that was once only available to high-profile users such as Lineker.