AN ONLINE petition has been launched calling for the BBC to reinstate Michael Stewart after the Sportscene co-presenter was dropped indefinitely by the broadcaster.

Stewart was supposed to commentate on Hearts' 3-2 defeat at home to Killie on Wednesday night but was axed earlier that day, according to reports.

The former Hearts and Hibs midfielder controversially ranted about Rangers PR chief Jim Traynor on Sportsound on Monday night, leading to an apology from the Beeb.

Stewart has not appeared on any of the BBC's platforms since and now a petition has been launched for the broadcaster to reinstate the pundit immediately.

The statement reads: "This is a petition to have Michael Stewart reinstated with immediate effect on all BBC projects he has been recently working on.

"As the BBC is funded by licence payers, it is not right to have someone taken off the air for speaking their mind with all valid and truthful points & comments."

The Beeb issued a statement yesterday that read: "Our editorial guidelines were not adhered to on Sportsound on Monday and we’re still in discussions to ensure there’s no repeat of that in future.

"While those discussions continue, Michael Stewart will not appear on any of our sports programmes."