The BBC row with Gary Lineker “goes straight to the heart” of the broadcaster’s wider reputation in news coverage, the head of Ofcom has said.

Dame Melanie Dawes, the chief executive of broadcasting regulator, said that “it hasn’t been a great weekend for BBC sports fans” after the BBC was forced to pull much of its sports coverage amid the row with Lineker.

Appearing before the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, she added: “I think we’re all glad to see that hopefully the BBC is moving beyond this episode.”

She said: “An episode like this goes straight to the heart of that wider reputation on their news and current affairs coverage.

“The question for the BBC on their social media guidelines is a question for their board, not something in which Ofcom has a role.

“I think they need to look at those guidelines and see if they’re right in a world of increased use of social media, and look at what they ask in terms of their contributors as well as their staff.”