Matthew has written to the Director-General of the BBC asking that he stop the broadcast of Desert Island Discs featuring Alexei Sayle, scheduled for this Sunday, 23rd May. Matthew's request comes in response to the anti-Semitic incidents which occurred over the weekend following the violence in Israel.
The letter says that every broadcaster should be wary of giving a platform to anyone who is seen to be excusing antisemitism.
In 2017, following an interview with Sky News, Mr Sayle claimed that all allegations of antisemitism “amongst supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are a complete fabrication”.
In 2014, Sayle claimed that a BBC presenter, Emma Barnett, was abusing antisemitism to discredit Palestinians before denouncing her as "supporting the murder of children, the murder of women…from a fascist, Zionist ideology".
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. In addition, to conflate Jewish identity with Zionism ensures that British Jews are physically and verbally attacked for actions that occur in Israel, for which they have no cause or control.
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."
To support Matthew's request, please email the BBC's Director-General, Tim Davie, at firstname.lastname@example.org