Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pink News stands its ground against MCB

Congratulations to Pink News for standing up to the MCB’s attempts to wriggle out of their controversial U-Turn on gay rights issues.

Pink News intends to sue the MCB over that organisation’s claim that tPink News journalist Marc Shoffman fabricated the story about a plan by the MCB to start looking into homophobia. The MCB put out a statement saying the story run in Pink News was “entirely fictional”.

The story was written based on an interview with Mohammed Aziz, the MCB’s representative on the Equality and Diversity Forum following minuted commitments he made at the forum to start looking into homophobia within the MCB. Mr Azis had apologised at the meeting on “a personal level” for the “pain and hurt” that (MCB chief) Sir Iqbal Sacranie’s remarks about homosexuality had caused.

The MCB have since tried to distance themselves from Mr Aziz, describing him as a “representative” (on some bodies), a “consultant”, a “legal advisor” and even a “preferred partner”, but yet somehow not a “spokesperson”.

Whatever the complictated and ever-shifting relationship the MCB has with Mr Aziz (Faizal Bodi has a stab at working it out), the fact of the matter remains that when Pink News phoned to discuss the issue (of the plan to combat homophobia referenced in the EDF minutes), they were referred to him. The MCB’s regular spokesperson, Mr Bunglawala said he would “always be too busy” to speak to them.

So, what do Pink News want out of the legal action? Editor Ben Cohne explains:

“We just want them to admit we were right — I don't know why they think we would just make a story up for the sake of it.”

Quite so!


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