Wiley stripped of MBE after antisemitic social media posts | Ents & Arts News

The rapper Wiley has been stripped of his MBE after he made antisemitic posts on social media.

Often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Grime’, he received the honour for services to music in 2018.

But in 2020 he was banned from X, Facebook and Instagram after a series of posts in which he described Jewish people as “cowards and snakes” and also compared them to the Ku Klux Klan.

Wiley with his MBE in 2018. Pic: PA

Wiley, whose real name is Richard Cowie, told Sky News at the time that he was sorry “for generalising” but refused to distance himself from most of the comments.

An official notice in the London Gazette has now confirmed his MBE will be “cancelled and annulled” for “bringing the honours system into disrepute”.

His honour was one of three withdrawn, with ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells also stripped of her CBE.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), which petitioned for the Wiley move, commended the forfeiture committee for “using its powers to make clear that anti-Jewish racists cannot be role models in our society”.

“Antisemites like Wiley must understand that we will work tirelessly to hold them to account,” it said.

“For four years, we have worked to ensure that Wiley faces ruinous consequences for his unhinged antisemitic tirade, for which he has shown no remorse. Today’s decision is a vindication of that effort.”

Read more from Sky News:
Staff suspended after ‘Israel’ scribbled out on birth certificate
More than 4,000 antisemitic incidents recorded by Jewish charity

Wiley, 45, was one of the pioneers of the grime scene and has had six top 10 tracks in the UK, including Wearing My Rolex and Heatwave.

In September 2021, he was charged with assault and burglary over an alleged break-in.

He was wanted by police the following year after he failed to show up for a court date related to the case.

In June 2023, he entered guilty pleas at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court for an assault on an emergency worker and for criminal damage to property valued under £5,000, said the Crown Prosecution Service.

He was given a one-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months for each offence and was also ordered to pay the assault victim £470 in compensation, the CPS added.