BBC Three Counties’ Iain Lee axed from breakfast show over ‘bigot’ row

Iain Lee
Iain Lee

BBC Three Counties presenter Iain Lee has been axed from his breakfast show after he branded a Christian solicitor a ‘bigot’ on air.

Following a discussion about a prison chaplain who was disciplined for a quoting a Bible passage about homosexuality, Lee interviewed Christian Legal Centre lawyer Libby Powell.

The solicitor, who defended the Pentecostal minister at a tribunal, told Lee that the preacher’s message “was one of repentance from sin”.

When asked by Lee if she supports bigotry and homophobia, Powell said: “This isn’t homophobia, this is God’s word.”

From there the interview continued to get heated and when told by Powell that “God loves to forgive sinners”, Lee rebutted: “He’s going to forgive the gays is he? What do the gays have to do to be forgiven by your ever loving God?”

The presenter went on to tell Powell: “Can I just say that I am nothing like you, I don’t think I’m a bigot and I don’t hate people who fall in love with people.”

He added: “People like you break my heart because you are doing Christianity and religion a real disservice”.

Iain Lee later apologised for the interview on air last week, but has now left the station.

In a statement the BBC said: “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.”

Following the transmission of the interview pressure group Christian Concern encouraged its supported to compain to the BBC.

In respinse the corporation said: “While the programme is well-known for its combative style, the BBC fully accepts that the language the presenter used, and the tone in which he conducted these interviews, was at several points inappropriate.

“The BBC – and Iain Lee himself - wish to apologise for any offence that may have been caused.”