BBC Three Counties radio host Iain Lee has left the broadcaster after an apology was issued following an interview with a conservative Christian group that opposes LGBT rights.
The interview became testy after they began discussing a prison gardener who told inmates that homosexuals must repent their sexuality to please God and now claims he is being persecuted as a result.
Lee said anti-gay passages in the Bible were "bigotry", which Powell denied. Lee replied: "I guess you don't know what the definition of bigotry is, and considering you are from a legal centre, that is a little bit worrying." He later went on to add: "You have chosen not to question [your views] because you are a bigot."
Staff at Broadcasting House have told BuzzFeed News there was a panic at the corporation after Christian Concern posted a link to the BBC's complaints process on its website – as a result, over 100 complaints were sent in.
It is understood the matter was escalated to senior figures in the BBC. BuzzFeed News has been told Lee was subsequently "forced to resign" after the apology was made because significant structural changes were to be made to his show as a result of the complaints.
It's unclear at exactly what level the decision was taken to impose these changes. A BBC spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: "I can confirm ... that in no way were the Director General / BBC Trust involved in any decisions about his future." On the issue of his resignation, they declined to comment further on "this matter or any other individual/contract matters".
A BBC management source told BuzzFeed News the decision was in part likely to have influenced by nervousness over the broadcaster's charter renewal.
A BBC spokesperson said: "Iain Lee will no longer be presenting his shows on the station but we want to take this opportunity to thank him and wish him well for the future."
BuzzFeed News has contacted Lee's agent but had not received a reply at the time of publication.
Lee confirmed he had left the show via his Twitter account.
He also retweeted a series of supportive messages.
Christian Concern, the group to which Powell belongs, campaigns against same-sex parenting and marriage as well as abortion, and opposed a campaign to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.
Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Alan White at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.