Former BBC Three Counties presenter Iain Lee breached the corporation’s rules on impartiality when he branded a Christian solicitor a ‘bigot’ on air, the BBC Trust has said.
In November Lee interviewed Christian Legal Centre lawyer Libby Powell, who told him that a prison chaplain’s warning about homosexuality was a message “of repentance from sin”.
The presenter went on to brand Powell a ‘bigot’ and asked her: “What do the gays have to do to be forgiven by your ever loving God?”.
Lee later apologised on air, but was axed from his breakfast show on BBC 3CR.
On Tuesday the BBC Trust published its findings from a review into the row, which found that Lee broke impartiality rules.
The report reads: “Language used was inappropriate and the interviewee was not given appropriate opportunity to air her views.
“There was an opportunity after the first interview for the production team to discuss with the presenter the tone and content of the forthcoming interviews, but this opportunity was not taken.
“The interview with the former prison worker also included personal attack and a failure to allow the interviewee to set out his views.”
The report added that trustees regarded the “tone of the interviews was inappropriate”.