Daily Mail

BBC vicar who backs Leave is called ‘racist’


A SE­NIOR Church of Eng­land cleric has la­belled a prom­i­nent Left-wing col­league a racist in a fu­ri­ous row over the ref­er­en­dum.

The Dean of Manch­ester, the Very Rev­erend Rogers Goven­der, hit out at Canon Giles Fraser, pic­tured, a for­mer se­nior of­fi­cial at St Paul’s Cathe­dral for his in­ten­tion to vote Leave in the ref­er­en­dum.

The charge came dur­ing a so­cial me­dia row be­tween the cler­gy­men, which ended with an an­nounce­ment by Dr Fraser – who ap­pears on BBC Ra­dio Four’s Thought For The Day – that he was quit­ting Face­book be­cause it had be­come ‘too un­pleas­ant’.

Se­nior Angli­cans are in­vari­ably po­lite to each other in public even when they have deep dif­fer­ences, and even mild pub­lished crit­i­cisms have led to scan­dals.

How­ever, the Dean, who is in charge of Manch­ester Cathe­dral, took to Twit­ter to ac­cuse Dr Fraser of align­ing him­self with ‘vile racists like Farage’.

In a fur­ther ex­change on Face­book, the Dean told Dr Fraser, of St Mary’s in New­ing­ton, south Lon­don: ‘Giles Fraser you as­so­ciate with vile racists in the leave cam­paign… Shame on you!’

Dr Fraser replied: ‘Rogers. Take that back.’ This drew the re­sponse from the Dean: ‘You con­demn them! But lend your sup­port for their cam­paign! Per­haps you are a racist too!!’

Dr Fraser said he had re­peat­edly con­demned politi­cians who ex­ploit im­mi­gra­tion. This drew a fur­ther at­tack from the Dean, who posted: ‘Giles… U as­so­ciate with vile racists who ex­ploit im­mi­gra­tion… I have lost all re­spect for you!’

The de­ci­sion by South African-born Mr Goven­der to call Ukip chief Nigel Farage a ‘vile racist’ is a con­tro­ver­sial in­ter­ven­tion from a Church of Eng­land fig­ure.

Dr Fraser, 51, de­clared his sup­port for Brexit in The Guardian last week.

Nei­ther Dr Fraser nor Mr Goven­der were avail­able for com­ment yes­ter­day.

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