A BBC weather forecaster has appeared to criticise Gary Lineker for speaking out over the government's migrant policy, saying the Match of the Day presenter "thinks he's so different from the rest of us".
Paul Hudson, who presents the weather on the corporation's regional news programme Look North, said in a tweet: "I would love to share my views on [Lineker] and how he thinks he’s so different from the rest of us at the BBC and the rules we have to follow but instead I'll stick to clouds."
The tweet has since been deleted.
Hudson was responding to a tweet from fellow BBC journalist Paul Murphy, who posted a picture of a cloud along with the message: "Don't want to get into trouble sharing my thoughts on our Gary. So here is a fab snow cloud I captured this aft on the east coast."
It comes amid a growing controversy over Lineker's comments about the government's attempts to curb migration.
The 62-year-old became embroiled in a row over impartiality after comparing the language used to launch a new Government asylum seeker policy with 1930s Germany on Twitter.
As a furore erupted, Lineker said he stood by his tweets, and added that he was looking forward to presenting Match of the Day on Saturday night.
But the BBC then announced it had “decided” Lineker would take a break from presenting the highlights programme until an “agreed and clear position” on his use of social media had been reached.
It sparked a crisis at the corporation as footballers prepared to boycott Match of the Day and a growing list of stars refused to go on air in support of Lineker, triggering hours of sports scheduling to be pulled.
Tonight’s MOTD is set to go ahead without a presenter, pundits and several regular commentators, following the fallout over Lineker’s removal.
Paul Hudson doubled down on his criticism of Lineker in exchanges with other Twitter users who said different standards should be applied to BBC journalists working in news and those in other fields.
Replying to the forecaster's original tweet, Daniel Norris said: "You should be able to say exactly how you feel about any topic and share your opinions freely on this platform."
Hudson replied: "But we can’t. I’d get sacked. You can argue the rules are wrong, but The rules of my employment are very clear. And that’s the point I’m making."
In another follow-up tweet he added: "Point I’m making is none of us in the BBC are allowed to voice our views. Those are the rules whether you agree with them or not - and the rules should apply to everyone in the BBC."