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Liew makes formal complaint to BBC over Agnew


BBC cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew is the subject of a formal complaint to the BBC from Jonathan Liew, the Independent’s chief sports writer.

Agnew deleted his Twitter account last week after calling Liew a “sad racist troll after clickbait” on the platform – despite having been reprimanded by BBC bosses about his behaviour towards the journalist earlier this year.

The tweet was posted at 1am last Tuesday morning and in another, posted in response to a user who claimed Liew was using the “race card”, Agnew replied: “Horrible Man. Seriously.”

Liew said he had complained to the BBC on Tuesday but did not know whether they were dealing with it.

“I would very much like him to stop calling me a racist because that’s defamatory – and it’s not true,” he said. “I am not a racist. I would very much like him to leave me alone.”

The BBC refused to comment and Agnew, who earns between £180,000 and £189,999, denied he had deleted his Twitter account because of the tweets to the journalist.

“I am up to my ears in work and I don’t want any more distractions,” he said. “It is nothing to do with him at all.”

The dispute dates back to April, when Liew wrote a column suggesting that journalists, including Agnew, had been more critical of the decision to call up Barbados-born Jofra Archer to the England team than they had with white players born in South Africa and Australia.

“There’s an incendiary word you could posit to describe all this, but I’m not going to use it,” he wrote.

In response, Agnew sent three direct messages to Liew calling him a “c**t”, which the journalist subsequently re-posted on his own account. One of the tweets from Agenw read: “I’m going no further on the advice of people I have heard back from who know you and think you are a c**t. I know you are. Think on.”

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