BBC is like Boko Haram for 'forcing' DJ David Lowe to quit, says Boris Johnson

He accused both the BBC and the terrorist group of being illogical

London Mayor Boris Johnson has compared the “illogical” behaviour of Boko Haram with the BBC’s treatment of a veteran BBC Radio DJ, who was “forced” to quit for accidentally playing a song containing the N-word.

Mr Johnson made the comments regarding BBC Radio Devon broadcaster David Lowe, who stepped down last week after he mistakenly played an 82-year-old recording of The Sun Has Got His Hat On, which featured the racial slur.

The BBC has since offered him his job back, but Mr Lowe said he declined because his departure exacerbated a stress-related condition he suffers from.

In the same week, militant Islamist group Boko Haram made international headlines as a campaign for the return of 200 schoolgirls they kidnapped three weeks ago gathered pace. 

In his Telegraph column, Mr Johnson wrote: “In our own modest way, we live in a Boko Haram world, where it all depends on the swirling rage of the internet mob, and where terrified bureaucrats and politicians are borne along on a torrent of confected outrage.

"There is no consistency in the outlook of the Nigerian maniacs: they use weapons produced by the very capitalist system they claim to deplore, for instance.

"There is certainly no logic at the BBC. They should restore Mr Lowe to his job - if he will take it - and the entire BBC board should go down to Devon to apologise in person, and at their own expense."

He added: "Their treatment of this man is utterly disgraceful."

Mr Johnson wrote that "a clerisy of self-appointed internet witchdoctors went completely loco - or perhaps boko is the word" when footage emerged of Jeremy Clarkson using the N-word.

David Lowe of Radio Devon played a 1930s song unaware it contained the N-word David Lowe of Radio Devon played a 1930s song unaware it contained the N-word Before he resigned, Mr Lowe apologised to officials at BBC Radio Devon, but claimed Emma Clements, the station's acting editor, told him that while he had "properly" dealt with his mistake, she thought he should step down.

After his exit, Mr Lowe claims he was asked to say he was pursuing other interests.

However, he refused and made the reasons public through his website.

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation admitted the discussion about Mr Lowe's future ”could have been handled better“ and said the "door remained open" should he want to return.

Prime Minister David Cameron also waded into the row, and said he thought the BBC was being unfair.

He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "It does seem, in this case, where if he really didn't know what was on the record, it does seem slightly unfair.“

He added: "The word in question is awful and unacceptable and people shouldn't use it, now let's be clear about that.

"We've come a long way as a country in trying to drive racism out of our country, and that is a really important thing."

Additional reporting by PA

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone