Legal fight to save BBC Jewish programme from axe

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 18, 2012

The BBC is being taken to court over the alleged “discriminatory” decision to axe its only regular Jewish radio show.

Jewish Hour, broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester for 21 years, is scheduled to end in December as part of sweeping changes to local broadcasting. However, the local black, Asian and Chinese programming is continuing.

Manchester Jewish community member Gillian Cohn has applied to a judge to have the BBC’s decision scrutinised under judicial review on the ground that it breaches discrimination law.

Ms Cohn, a former senior legal officer at Bury Council, is also involved in interfaith work with Manchester’s Muslim population.

She said on Wednesday that she could not comment in detail, so as not to prejudice the case. “But I’m an avid supporter of the programme and listen every week.”

The application will be heard by a judge next month. If successful, the BBC will have to argue at a full hearing why its decision does not breach equality laws.

A spokesman said the BBC would “defend its editorial decision”.

Last updated: 12:05pm, October 18 2012