LBC radio talk show host faces Ofcom complaint over ‘Jewland’ remark

Richard Spurr also claimed some Jews in the capital lived in 'ghettos'


A graveyard shift talk radio host is facing a complaint to the broadcasting standards watchdog after referring to "Jewland" during a live show and claiming some Jews in the capital lived in “ghettos”.

Richard Spurr, a presenter on LBC, the London-based talk radio station, made the controversial remark in a discussion with a listener about whether Jews are ‘a race’ .

Ofcom, which maintains standards on commercial radio, is now examining if Spurr, who previously worked on BBC local radio in Nottingham and refers to himself as a radio and television broadcaster, voice artist, food critic and podcaster, broke its rules.

Speaking in April during an exchange with a listener, Spurr asked: “Are Jews a race, would you say?

The listener replied: “I believe so because…” Spurr interjected: “They come from many different countries, don’t they? There’s no such place as ‘Jewland’”.

However, the listener replied: “Well, it’s called Israel.”

Spurr went on: “But Jews historically have lived in many countries and have been almost to an extent nomadic.”

In a later exchange last week with another listener, he said: “You’re right in saying that in parts of North London – St. John’s Wood, Golders Green, up that way – you do see large groups of Orthodox Jews walking around in their traditional dress and you could describe it maybe as a ‘ghetto’ but certainly as an area concentrated with Jews.”

A former travel news reporter who claimed to have also worked as voiceover artist in Soho, Spurr regularly broadcasts at 4am on weekends and sometimes covers for day time hosts on LBC, which broadcasts across the UK on digital radio and on FM in London.

The station is part of the Global Media and Entertainment group owns a number of other commercial radio stations and reported a turnover of £824 million in 2020. The group was founded by Ashley Tabor-King with financial backing from his father, Michael Tabor a bookmaker and racehorse owner. Tabor snr’s grandparents were Russian-Jewish immigrants, originally called Taborosky, who had moved to London from Vilna, Russia.

Spurr’s remarks are now the subject of complaints to Ofcom.

One individual who complained to Ofcom over both remarks said the ghetto comparison was “highly offensive” when used in the context of Jewish neighbourhoods as it can relate directly to Jews who were forcibly segregated during the Holocaust.

A spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “To describe areas of London that have larger populations of Jewish residents as ‘ghettos’ is tactless, at best.

“Richard Spurr should apologise and be sure to avoid such crass comparisons in the future.”

Ofcom said they were looking into the complaints but have yet to launch a formal investigation.

A spokesperson added: “We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”

Global have been approached for comment.

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