Ofcom assessing TalkSport ‘Jew’ comment as ‘matter of urgency’

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Ofcom assessing TalkSport ‘Jew’ comment as ‘matter of urgency’

EXCLUSIVE: Broadcasting regulator is looking into remarks made on the radio station about Tottenham's Jewish owner Daniel Levy which caused fury in the community

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The broadcasting regulator Ofcom has confirmed it is “assessing as a matter of urgency” radio station TalkSport’s airing of an antisemitic slur against Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

Jewish News contacted Ofcom after learning of complaints made to the regulator over a broadcast by TalkSport earlier this week in which a caller said of Levy: “He’s a Jew, he’s not going to let him go for nothing, is he?”

Footage aired on TalkSport’s own YouTube channel showed two presenters -Jordan Jarrett Bryan and Perry Groves -failing to challenge the openly racist comment made by the caller.

An Ofcom spokesperson confirmed on Thursday: “We are assessing this issue as a matter of urgency and establishing all the facts.”

Danny Stone, Chief Executive of the Antisemitism Policy Trust said of the regulator’s response; “This is a welcome development.

“I am pleased Ofcom is approaching this matter with the urgency and seriousness that it deserves.

“Given the regulator is to be charged with responsibility for overseeing online safety, it is critical that even if it cannot act in this particular case, it is building knowledge about the routinely poor enforcement of the rules we encounter from social media companies, when it comes to anti-Jewish and other forms of racism being shared or broadcast on their platforms. ”

Communal organisations along with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Antisemitism reacted furiously over the incident and the subsequent failure of two TalkSport presenters to challenge the remarks.

The MP Andrew Percy, who co-chairs the APPG, confirmed in a letter to TalkSport head Lee Clayton that he had lodged a complaint with Ofcom.

His letter highlighted both the broadcast of an antisemitic remark – and the failure of the presenters to condemn and tackle the issue as it happened.

TalkSport subsequently said the broadcast had not gone out on their radio channel, after it was “dumped” due to the seven second delay to live transmissions.

But it had been aired on You Tube for some time as criticism mounted.

Clayton said the channel had suspended their You Tube broadcasts while the matter was looked into.

Some media experts last night said they feared that Ofcom’s existing powers may not be extensive enough to act on this matter – because the Levy slur was broadcast on a socal media channel.

Ofcom’s powers include overseeing television, radio, telephone, and broadband services – but at present they do not have full powers to regulate the internet.

The government is to give Ofcom new powers to force social media companies to act over harmful content.

But Online Harms Bill legislation is still two years away from becoming law.

Reacting to the TalkSport broadcast Tottenham Hotspur said they are “appalled” by the incident

The club said in a statement: “We are under no doubt that if an equivalent comment had been made regarding an individual’s race or other protected characteristic, the response would have been immediate and far-reaching.

“It cannot be acceptable that antisemitism does not receive the same level of condemnation as other forms of discrimination and efforts to tackle it should be no less rigorous.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: