IT'S good to see a resolution in the unprecedented storm that followed the BBC taking Gary Lineker off air over his Tweet about the Government’s policy towards asylum-seekers.

As chaotic and disturbing as it’s been, I’d argue that it has also been very positive because it has been a watershed moment for free speech.

The display of support for Lineker from his colleagues has sent a clear message that surrendering to political interference in the workings of the BBC won’t be tolerated. Those at the top of the BBC, including chairman Richard Sharp and Director General Tim Davie, were left with no choice but to apologise and come up with a reasonable solution – and that’s to be welcomed.

There’s no doubt that it was badly handled and they will no doubt wish that their response to Tory Party pressure had been to announce an independent review of their social media guidelines, instead of rushing to suspend Lineker.

After a weekend of embarrassing disruption, an independent review of the guidelines is the end result, and that’s also to be welcomed because there is clearly ambiguity that needs to be ironed out.

In the meantime, Lineker will return to our screens at the weekend, along with those colleagues who backed him.

The groundswell of public support, and empathy for those seeking refuge from war or persecution also sends an important message to politicians: don’t mess with freedom of speech; and take more care with the language used in addressing the issue of refugees and asylum-seekers.

At the same time, it’s a reminder to all of us – Gary Lineker included – to be more circumspect in the words we use on our own social media platforms. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t air opinions, speak out about what we believe to be wrong, or hold those in power to account, but there’s always room for greater consideration.

It has been a humiliating and regrettable episode in the BBC’s history but it remains a vital institution that we are fortunate to have – from the world service to local radio – and we undermine it at our peril.

But hopefully the past few days of chaos will have been worth it if we end up with a reinforcement of the importance of free speech, clearer guidelines from the BBC, and more thoughtfulness on social media.