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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

BBC told to apologise for crucifixion smear

A think-tank has demanded the BBC apologise over a Christmas radio show it says compared Brexit voters to the crowd calling for Jesus’ crucifixion.

Howard Jacobson made the analogy in the Radio 4 show A Point Of View as he discussed why the word of the year should be ‘people’ because ‘the will of the people’ had featured in the Brexit victory and Donald Trump’s triumph in the US presidential election.

“On a seasonal note, it is worth remembering Pontius Pilate offered the multitude a mini-referendum,” Mr Jacobson told listeners.

“They could have one prisoner released and another crucified. In their wisdom, the people chose the common criminal Barabbas to be released, leaving Jesus to be crucified.”

The Bruges Group’s Jack Soames said: “At a time when millions of people are celebrating the festival of the birth of Jesus, it seems entirely inappropriate – crass even – for the BBC to be permitting his crucifixion to be used to make a political point.

“Apart from being tasteless, the comparison is also a smear on the 17.4 million people who legitimately voted for the UK to leave the European Union.

“The BBC and Howard Jacobson should both publicly apologise for the unjustified offence they have caused and for their poor judgement during this season of goodwill.”

A BBC spokeswoman said the show was “often presented in a satirical tone.”

Picture: A man looks at a statue of the crucifixion of Christ in Ventry, Ireland. (CNS photo/Clodagh Kilcoyne, Reuters).