The author of a petition to reinstate Iain Lee to his BBC Three Counties breakfast show has slammed the corporation’s handling of the presenter.
Lee was axed from the show after interviewing a Christian solictior, who he branded a ‘bigot’ as she defended a minister accused of homophobia.
At the time of writing a petition to ‘Bring Iain Lee back to BBC 3CR’ has gained more than 2,700 signatures.
Its creator Julian Williams, 20, from Milton Keynes, told the Citizen that the BBC ‘should have backed up’ Lee after the fallout.
He said: “It should have been handled better, bigotry is a big thing in society today and Iain Lee has always shown that he is against homophobia.
“The petition came about when me and a few other fans were talking about how much we like Iain and how good he was.
“It is a shame for him and we think they (the BBC) should have backed him up as he stood up to what was said.”
During the interview Lee asked solicitor Libby Powell about the case of Barry Trayhorn– a prison chaplain who was disciplined for quoting a Bible passage about homosexuality.
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”.
Lee later apologised for the interview but was replaced after the BBC said that ”the language the presenter used, and the tone in which he conducted these interviews, was at several points inappropriate.”
On the interview itself, Mr Williams said: “There were a few times where he sounded agitated but I think he kept calm and he used the right words to describe it.
“His tone made it sound alot worse than it was.
“I am really suprised wit hthe amount of people who signed the petition, I thought that it would only get a couple of hundred signatures.
“We don’t know if Iain was sacked or walked out but we just wanted to say that we want him back if he does want to return,”
> To view the petition click here