The news comes just over a fortnight after his fellow LBC host Iain Dale’s patience finally expired and he told his followers “In 11 years on [LBC] I have never publicly called out a fellow presenter. But I can't stand by while this sort of irresponsible and dangerous propaganda is spread by someone who ought to know better. Shame on you, Maajid. Shame. On. You. Boosters Save Lives. Scientific Fact”.
At the time, I concluded that it was decision time for LBC: as Sunder Katwala, who has been keeping tabs on Nawaz for some time now, put it, “I think [Iain Dale] is right to say that this apparent labelling of the programme of booster vaccinations by Mr Nawaz as being potential ‘CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY’ is lurid and irresponsible”.
It wasn’t the only rabbit hole Nawaz had visited: earlier, he had spent some months casting doubt on the reliability of the 2020 US Presidential Election. Following that, he told his audience “WATCH: US military walk-outs occurred after Biden mandates vaccines for federal employees & military … Fighter jet pilots have walked out … ‘with the F-22s grounded, you can kiss Taiwan goodbye’”. This was swiftly debunked.
Mehdi Hasan, who had seen it all before, mused “First, it was Trump’s election lies. Now anti-vax nonsense. Remember when Nawaz was a Lib Dem parliamentary candidate and taken seriously by people in power? Lol. Some of us tried to warn you”. Yet still the anti-vax narrative continued. Until LBC made their decision today.
At 1400 hours precisely, a tersely-worded Tweet brought the news. “Maajid Nawaz’s contract with LBC is up very shortly and following discussions with him, Maajid will no longer present a show on LBC with immediate effect. We thank Maajid for the contribution he has made to LBC and wish him well”. No notice period. No regret. No leaving party.
Jim Waterson of the Guardian mused of the result “That would be ‘following discussions’” before adding “A lot of LBC staff have become increasingly exasperated with Nawaz's tweeting about vaccines killing people and Trump and general conspiracy stuff”. Also, LBC needs to make room for Andrew Marr, who is joining the broadcaster imminently.
The problem for those making the decision, though, as Nafeez Ahmed reminded them, was that they may have waited too long before making it. “This time last year, I'd exposed Maajid Nawaz's dark money pro-Trump funding … At the time, [LBC] declined to comment - they've done the right thing in letting him go, but it shouldn't have taken a year”.
So what of Nawaz? He swiftly got out the begging bowl. “I refuse to go quietly into the night … please become a paid subscriber to my substack newsletter … I’ll post there soon but forgive the basic set up for now, I have a wife & child to support and my show was our family’s only source of income”. Whatever happened to the libel damages from the SPLC? What of the other funding? Whatever. He’s gone. Just rejoice at that news.
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