Matthew Offord, the Conservative MP for the heavily-Jewish constituency of Hendon in North London, has written to the BBC’s Director-General, Tim Davie, to request that the BBC not broadcast the upcoming episode of Desert Island Discs, which is set to feature Alexei Sayle this Sunday.
Mr Sayle has previously claimed that allegations of antisemitism “amongst supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are a complete fabrication.” He is also a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Research conducted by Campaign Against Antisemitism revealed widespread antisemitism amongst supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
According to a statement that was released on his website, “Matthew’s request comes in response to the antisemitic incidents which occurred over the weekend following the violence in Israel.” It goes on to say that “The letter says that every broadcaster should be wary of giving a platform to anyone who is seen to be excusing antisemitism. For a person to state publicly that another who made allegations of antisemitism is a liar is not only wrong but also allows antisemitism to continue and in some cases flourish.”
The statement continued: “Matthew said: ‘ITV recently took the decision not to broadcast the final episode of a drama starring Noel Clarke after allegations were made against him. In light of Alexei Sayle’s continuing behaviour and the distress this is causing my constituents and others, the BBC should take the same action and not broadcast the next episode of Desert Island Discs which features Mr Sayle.’”
Mr Sayle claimed in 2014 that BBC presenter Emma Barnett, who is Jewish, supported the murder of children following an article and radio interview in which she had decried antisemitism amongst anti-Israel activists.
Dr Offord is an Honorary Patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].