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Sir Keir Starmer demanded Rishi Sunak “stand up to his snowflake MPs”, accusing them of trying to “cancel” Gary Lineker. The Labour leader accused the PM of “hiding behind the playground bullies” after his own MPs demanded the BBC sack Gary Lineker.

Speaking across the House of Commons from Mr Sunak at PMQs, Sir Keir said: “Last summer the Prime Minister said he wanted to protect free speech and stop no-platforming. In light of that, how concerned was he about his campaign from Tory MPs to cancel a broadcaster?”

The Prime Minister said it was a matter for the BBC and Mr Lineker to resolve, adding that he is glad they have come to an agreement.

Hitting back at the Labour leader, he accused him of the “usual political opportunism” over his attacks.

Sir Keir also questioned the position of BBC chairman Richard Sharp, asking: “Does the Prime Minister think his friend’s position is still tenable?”

Mr Sharp was found to have helped Boris Johnson secure an £800,000 loan.

But Mr Sunak distanced himself from the BBC chairman, saying the appointment as made before he became Prime Minister.

Starmer’s choice of attack was met with a huge backlash on Twitter. David Willock wrote: “Starmer dedicating #pmqs to Day 4,372 of the Gary Lineker saga feels a bit meh.”

While Anthea Bailey said: “What a farce Starmer is. Used all his questions on the boring Lineker story. He has no sense of what is important to the people of the UK.”

John Brook added: “I cannot believe that Keir Starmer has used his questions at PMQ’s on Gary Lineker. Is there nothing more important happening?”

Chris Rose added: “Keir Starmer is confused or disingenuous. Gary Lineker’s situation isn’t anything to do with free speech. He signed up to impartiality on social media rules & broke them.”