Richard Cowie: British grime artist Wiley stripped of MBE honour by King

Wiley has officially lost his MBE honourWiley has officially lost his MBE honour
Wiley has officially lost his MBE honour
Wiley has officially lost his MBE honour

British grime artist Wiley has forfeited his MBE for “bringing the honours system into disrepute”, according to a list published on the Cabinet Office website.

Wiley, whose real name is Richard Cowie, was appointed an MBE in 2018. He had said at the time that he was "honoured to be receiving an MBE". During an interview with the PA news agency, he said: "It feels like the school grade I wanted and didn’t get but now I’m finally there. Wiley also took to social media to praise the award, tweeting: "Big up the Queen".

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The official reason behind the decision is still not known, but in 2020, the 45-year-old musician was criticised following antisemitic tweets that saw him removed from Twitter and dropped by his management, prompting many to call for his MBE to be revoked.

Speaking in a Sky News interview, in July 2020, Wiley called for his MBE to be taken away. He said: "I'm not racist, you know. I'm a businessman." When questioned on his anti-Semitic remarks, he hit back: "Do I see why that could be thought of as racism?

"If I read what antisemitism is and it says the Jewish community is powerful in business, that's racist? I think that's silly. I don't care what nobody says. I wanna apologise for generalising, number one, and I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as antisemitic."

In 2022, it emerged that Wiley, known as the Godfather of Grime, was being sought by police for missing a court appearance after being accused of breaking into a flat belonging to former kickboxer Ali Jacko in Forest Gate, East London and assaulting him in August 2021.

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