Mar 27, 2024

The BBC newsroom is in “absolute meltdown” over the corporation’s decision to uphold a complaint against Today presenter Justin Webb for clarifying during a news segment that “trans women” are “males”.

The ruling has reportedly sparked a massive backlash from staff, especially among prominent female presenters, who have written to Director-General Tim Davie to express dismay at the way Webb has been treated.

Last August, the Radio 4 presenter was discussing new rules banning transgender competitors from taking part in women’s international chess tournaments and said “trans women, in other words males”.

One listener lodged a complaint, accusing Webb of violating the BBC’s strict impartiality requirements. Earlier this month, the Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) decided Webb was guilty as charged. It claimed his words, “gave the impression of endorsing one viewpoint in a highly controversial area”.

Senior BBC women told Davie that Webb was clarifying a relevant fact, not endorsing a “controversial viewpoint”. One wrote: “Clear statement of fact is not ‘one viewpoint’ and the fact that it is ‘a highly controversial area’ makes it more important to be factual, not less. If the BBC is to censure journalists for being factual we are slipping into very dangerous waters.”

Webb has told colleagues he thinks “there is another agenda here” and that he believes he has been “unfairly discriminated against by the BBC”.

Former Today presenter John Humphrys backed Webb, saying he suspects LGBT lobby group Stonewall, which has heavily pushed the trans agenda in recent years, “still has rather more influence within the BBC than it does in the outside world, even since the management decided to end the formal arrangement”.

No one should be sanctioned for clarifying relevant facts. Webb accepted that he should have said “biological male”. But why? We shouldn’t have to qualify words like male and female as though they are suddenly ambiguous when their meaning hasn’t changed.

C4M stands up for marriage between one man and one woman. It is regrettable that we already have to clarify that we defend real marriage as it was understood for thousands of years, not the faulty new legal definition cooked up 12 years ago. The ideologues mustn’t now be allowed to confuse the meaning of male and female as well.