Nigel Farage is to leave the radio station LBC “with immediate effect”, the company has announced.
The Brexit party leader will no longer present his weekday evening show on the talk radio station, which has previously been investigated by the media regulator Ofcom.
“Nigel Farage’s contract with LBC is up very shortly and following discussions with him, Nigel is stepping down from LBC with immediate effect,” said the station’s managing director, Tom Cheal, in a message to staff. “We thank Nigel for the enormous contribution he has made to LBC and wish him well.”
Farage has yet to comment on his departure but his LBC producer tweeted to say he had learned the news via social media. The LBC presenter James O’Brien tweeted: “We got our station back.”
Farage has been a vocal critic of the recent Black Lives Matter protests and sources at the station pointed to internal fury over his comments earlier this week comparing protesters who destroyed the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol to the “Taliban”.
His programme regularly hit the headlines but struggled to establish itself as a US-style rightwing radio show, partly due to the limitations of the British broadcasting code. Its most notable moment was when Farage secured an exclusive interview with the US president, Donald Trump.
Employees at Global Media, which owns LBC and other stations including Capital Radio and Heart, had raised concerns in recent days about the difference between the company’s rhetoric on race and its actions.
Messages passed to the Guardian show Yinka Bokinni and Shayna Marie Birch-Campbell, the hosts of the CapitalXtra breakfast show, expressing their exasperation with the company’s response: “As black women in the public eye and forward-facing representatives of this company who are actively speaking out against white privilege and fighting for change, we currently don’t feel like we have the backing of the place we call home.”
There has also been substantial attention on the make-up of the Global Media board of directors and calls for its founder, Ashley Tabor-King, to do more to live up to his internal comments.