Police investigate caller who made antisemitic comments on BBC phone-in

By Josh Jackman, January 11, 2016

Police have opened an investigation into a BBC radio caller who made antisemitic accusations throughout a 13-minute on-air conversation.

The caller, referred to as “Andy from St. Margaret’s”, told BBC Radio London host Simon Lederman that “Zionists” were “trying to control us more and more and more” and that Britain was dominated by “the Jewish financial system”.

A police spokesman reported: “Police in Barnet are investigating an allegation of antisemitism made by a caller to a London Radio talk show on Tuesday, 22 December 2015.

“No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Board of Deputies vice president Marie Van Der Zyl had previously called on the BBC to hand over details of the caller to the police, adding that it was “disgraceful that an obviously antisemitic caller was able to speak for 13 minutes on air in a way which was likely to incite racial hatred against Jews.”

During the call, the guest said that “the people who own corporate America, the media, you’ll find if you just do a little bit of research, they’re all Zionist Jews. We are ruled by Zionist Jews.”

He repeated these accusations throughout the 5:07am call, telling listeners: “They control the money, the money, finance - 80 per cent of corporate America, of the media, is owned by Jews. And they’re Zionist Jews.”

In the clip from December 22, posted on Campaign Against Antisemitism’s website but also available online through the BBC, Mr Lederman challenged the caller’s views but allowed the discussion to continue, even admitting: “I’m giving you more than I have done anyone,” referring to time spent on the air.

A BBC spokeswoman said at the time: “The aim of the programme is to discuss and debate issues raised by our listeners. This was a live phone in and the caller was challenged on his views throughout the conversation."

As the spokeswoman pointed out, following the interview reactions from other listeners were also broadcast, with one saying the caller was an "angry conspiracy theorist."

Last updated: 4:58pm, January 11 2016