MP joins fight to save Manchester radio show

Former Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis has accused the BBC of treating the Jewish community “differently” over its plans to scrap its only regular Jewish programme.

Mr Lewis is due to meet the BBC’s head of regional and local programmes for the north-west, Aziz Rashid, over the proposed cancellation of BBC Radio Manchester’s Monday night Jewish hour.

The Bury South MP said next week’s meeting was arranged after an exchange of letters with the corporation over the future of the programme, which has been broadcast for 21 years.

“I’m extremely concerned by the BBC’s decision to scrap Jewish hour, which appears to treat the Jewish community differently to other minority communities,” Mr Lewis said.

“I am meeting senior BBC personnel to reiterate my concern and see whether we can find a more positive way forward.”

The BBC has said the Jewish Citizen Manchester show will end because of budgetary constraints and a national reshuffle of local programming. Although other minority groups will also lose their specialist programming, BBC Manchester’s Chinese, black and Asian shows will continue.

Last updated: 10:51am, June 15 2012