Kilroy Is Taken off the Air after Arab Article Sparks Outrage; SHOW SUSPENDED IN WAKE OF 'SUICIDE BOMBER' AND 'WOMEN OPPRESSOR' COMMENTS
Byline: ANDRE PAINE
TV PRESENTER Robert Kilroy-Silk has been pulled from the BBC following a row over his description of Arabs as "suicide bombers, limb amputators, women repressers".
The former Labour MP's daytime talk show Kilroy was suspended from BBC1 after his outspoken comments in a Sunday newspaper.
His column appeared in the Sunday Express under the headline "We Owe Arabs Nothing".
He said of Arab countries: "Few of them make much contribution to the welfare of the rest of the world. Indeed, apart from oil - which was discovered, is produced and paid for by the West - what do they contribute?
Can you think of anything really useful? Anything really valuable? Something we really need?"
The suspension of Kilroy-Silk's show follows the introduction of new rules for BBC news presenters which prevent them from writing newspaper columns on " current affairs or contentious issues".
BBC insiders revealed that Kilroy-Silk is not actually covered by these guidelines as he is not employed by BBC News, but his contract does require his articles to be cleared by management.
Today the BBC issued the following statement: "The BBC strongly disassociates itself from the views expressed in an article by Robert Kilroy-Silk in the Sunday Express of 4 January, 2004.
"We stress that these comments do not reflect the views of the BBC. …