27/11/2020 09:24 GMT

BBC Journalist Ben Hunte Targeted With Racist And Homophobic Abuse After Laurence Fox Tweet

Police have confirmed they are launching an investigation into the abuse.

BBC journalist Ben Hunte has said he’s been hit with a wave of homophobic and racist abuse following a social media post by Laurence Fox.

Earlier this week, Fox shared a screenshot of the reporter’s Twitter profile, commenting: “So glad I’m not paying for this anymore.”

The tweet appears to have since been deleted.

Hunte – the corporation’s LGBT correspondent – said on Thursday: “My family and I have been sent racist and homophobic abuse following the below screenshot of me being posted. I am fine – but I will let the police take over.” 

He continued: “If you disagree with my job, or with the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, or with wider LGBT-related decision I am not involved in, please do not contact my family with hate. Please use the BBC’s complaints process.

“I am doing my job to the best of my abilities. I am proud of being a journalist and so grateful to those who share their experiences with me.”

A tweet from the BBC later said: “We won’t tolerate abuse and threats aimed at our journalists.

“They all stick to the BBC’s editorial standards – meaning they need to include a wide variety of viewpoints and voices in their reporting. This should never lead to personal abuse.”

In a tweet addressed to Hunte, Fox tweeted on Thursday evening: “Saddened to hear you have had abuse. It’s horrible and I know exactly how you feel. My view is that the BBC is increasingly identitarian and divisive and should be defunded. I believe in people, not acronyms.”

He signed off the tweet, “Loz”.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We are aware of a tweet posted earlier today relating to an allegation of abuse on social media.

“We have received an initial report and officers will be contacting the complainant to take further details.”