Tory MP Jonathan Gullis has dared BBC presenter Gary Lineker to stand against him at the next general election in a new escalation of their ongoing feud.

The row began after Lineker posted criticism of the Rwanda scheme on social media.

Gullis, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, claimed the Match of the Day presenter had breached the BBC’s impartiality guidelines with his remarks.

He called Lineker to “put himself on the ballot paper” and “let the public decide”.

Speaking to Sky News, Gullis said: “Gary’s constantly trying to get likes on Twitter, or X as it’s now called.”

He accused Lineker of dragging the BBC’s name “through the mud”, suggesting he “lives by a very different set of rules” than other presenters on the channel.

The MP added: “And then he can do things like Sky does, allowing reporters to have more public opinions.

“Gary needs to spend less time virtue signalling and more time talking about football, which he’s very good at. But it’s just a shame that he seems to think he is a politician.

“As I’ve told him if he’s desperate to get into politics, Stoke-on-Trent North, put himself on the ballot paper, let the public decide.”

In December, incoming BBC chairman Samir Shah confirmed that Gary Lineker’s tweets to Gullis appeared to break the broadcaster’s new social media guidelines.

This came after Lineker signed a letter calling for the Government to scrap its Rwanda scheme.

The letter demanded political leaders develop a “fair new plan for refugees”.

Lineker joined 30 others in signing the letter, including actors Brian Cox, Juliet Stevenson, David Morrissey, and Kaiser Chiefs musician Simon Rix.

Gullis hit out at the BBC on X, accusing Lineker of breaching the broadcaster’s new impartiality guidelines, which state that presenters must not endorse or attack a political party or criticise the character or individual politicians in the UK.

But the presenter said: “Jonathan hasn’t read the new guidelines…or, should I say, had someone read them to him.”

Asked by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee about “what appears to be the eternal BBC problem with Gary Lineker”, Shah said: “I think the initial two posts were considered, as far as I’m aware, did not breach that.

“But I think this last one, the one that identified specifically to politicians, seems to me, on the face of it, a breach of those guidelines, and I imagine the BBC is looking into that.”

When asked if he thinks Gary Lineker is “putting two fingers up” to any guidelines the BBC produces, Shah responded: “I do understand the point you’re making.

“First of all, I think in terms of whether we’ve got the balance right with freedom of expression – the BBC is in favour of freedom of expression – but also we’ve got to be impartial.

“The BBC is prominent when it comes to news and current affairs. But there is this grey area where Mr Lineker sits, and I share your frustration.

“I would certainly invite the director general and his team to find a solution because we need to find one.”

At the time, Gullis wrote a letter to the BBC’s Director General Tim Davie complaining about Lineker’s remarks and warning that he faces a “catastrophic loss of trust” if he fails to take action.