BBC radio presenter loses his job over bigotry remark
Iain Lee has lost his job as a presenter for BBC Three Counties radio after calling an anti-gay Christian group representative ‘a bigot’ during a debate on homophobia.
Lee made the comments to Libby Powell, a lawyer for the Christian Legal Centre, who was appearing on breakfast show to defend homophobic Pentecostal preacher Barry Trayhorn who had read out verses from the Bible condemning homosexuality during a service at a prison.
The presenter described the passages, and Libby’s belief in them, as “homophobic” and “bigoted” during a heated debate.
He asked her “Do you support bigotry?” and, when Libby defended her stance, said:
You’ve chosen not to question it, because you’re a bigot.
The BBC confirmed that Lee had left the station.
Iain Lee will no longer be presenting his shows on the station but we want to take this opportunity to thank him and wish him well for the future.
The BBC issued an apology over the “slur”, and Lee Iain apologised on air.
Last week I interviewed the Revd Barry Trayhorn and solicitor Libby Powell about their understanding of biblical teaching on homosexuality. I want to make it clear that I apologise for any offence that may have been caused over the way I conducted the interviews.
The BBC admitted the interview had been “at several points inappropriate” and said:
The BBC – and Iain Lee himself – wish to apologise for any offence that may have been caused.
The on-air row arose from Reverend Barry Trayhorn’s reading of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 6, Verses 9-11 at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire in May 2014. He was working as a gardener at the prison.
Trayhorn subsequently said he felt “compelled” to resign from his job and brought a case of constructive dismissal.
Hat tip: Andy Brown