Local BBC Radio station Three Counties Radio which serves Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire has confirmed that presenter Ian Lee will no longer present the breakfast show on their station.
It follows a recent heated interview with Libby Powell, a lawyer representing Christian Concern, who believe that certain religious interpretations of the bible are more important than laws and equality.
Libby had consented to speak to Ian about an employment tribunal which is being sponsored by Christian Concern – in defence of a prison gardener called Barry Trayhorn who got into trouble after lecturing prisoners on sin – including homosexuality.
Barry had acted unofficially as a chaplain to prisoners however, when a prisoner complained about one of his sermon – it was discovered that Barry shouldn’t have been conducting sermons in the first place. Mr Trayhorn then claimed stress and finally resigned days before the disciplinary hearing in November at the prison. He has now launched an employment tribunal against the prison saying he was forced out – supported by Christian Concern.
It is important to point out that all prisons are places which try and espouse a zero tolerance on bullying and discrimination – including remarks that would imply that a sexual preference for the same sex is wrong. It doesn’t matter what your religious belief is – if you want to work with prisoners and in a prison environment – you better understand their policies on discrimination in the work place.
And then came the interview. Ian asked Ms Powell straight out “do you support bigotry?” and then read a passage from the Corinthians 6:9-11 of the bible “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God..”
Ms Powell suggested that the passage wasn’t bigoted because it was gods word and written in the bible. Ian dug in and said that that both the opinions that Mr Trayhorn expressed and that Ms Powell defended them meant they were both bigoted.
Ian has since apologised for the interview on air saying “Last week I interviewed the Revd Barry Trayhorn and solicitor Barry 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”.
One is left wondering how these spineless wonders in BBC management slide into their suits without their webbed feet getting caught. I think Ian was strong in his interview style – but why not. Why should we favour bigots – she is a solicitor for god’s sake. She can’t defend herself? SO why go on a radio show? Maybe she thought it would be all cuddles and smiles – at her indirect homophobia and bigotry.
Good on you Ian, you done the profession proud. I just wonder how many other presenters would have had his balls? I’ll let you ponder that one.
The BBC went ahead and sacked him anyway. He received lots of support from various corners including from chat show host Matthew Wright and broadcaster Emma Kennedy.
@iainlee with you all the way! #notobigotry
Matthew Wright (@Matthew_Wright)
I’m proud of @iainlee for calling out a homophobe and appalled at BBC Three Counties Radio for lacking the balls to support him.
Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy)
Loving the Twitter support for Iain Lee this morning.
Greg Scott (@GregScottTV)
The BBC treatment of @IainLee is a disgrace. If I had said what he did and stood up to bigotry @LBC would have praised me, not sacked me.
Iain Dale (@IainDale)