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.