Star date: 16th August 2010 
A Salford Star Exclusive


Steve Broomhead, Chief Executive of the North West Development Agency - which has championed gay rights and campaigned against homophobia over the past few years - has been caught texting a gay joke about Elton John.

The £196,000 a year NWDA chief has already received a formal warning for sending a `Paki' joke by text but this is the first time his gay joke text has come to light.

Will Steve Broomhead be sacked? And why isn't the Gay and Lesbian Foundation furious?

Click here for the full story (not for the easily offended)…

Steve Broomhead NWDA Text LGF
click image to enlarge

"There is no place in our organisation for discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, race, religion…sexual orientation"
Public statement by North West Development Agency.

The NWDA (North West Development Agency) which hands out hundreds of millions of pounds of tax payers money to projects like MediaCityUK, Central Salford URC and Salford City Council (click here, and here and here for details) also prides itself on its diversity policies.

Particularly over the past few years the NWDA has sponsored a Walk Against Homophobia and even produced a Guidance Document on How to Conduct an Equality Impact Assessment which stated that the NWDA had an `onus' to `promote positive attitudes' and `eliminate harassment'.

The NWDA will be particularly embarrassed then that its Chief Executive, Steve Broomhead, has sent what could be construed as a homophobic text about Elton John and his `helmet' (see image above). The text has only recently come to light.

In 2007 Steve Broomhead was given a formal written warning after admitting sending a text joke about `Pakis' to a driver in a private hire firm. The text was discovered on the driver's mobile phone by the hire firm's boss after the driver was recruited by the NWDA and left his old job.

At the time, Broomhead apologised for forwarding the `Paki' joke as "an error of judgment on my part…It was inappropriate and thoughtless and does not reflect my personal opinions in any way"...

However, last August, following a forensic examination of the driver's mobile phone SIM card and its deleted messages, the Elton John joke was discovered. The forensic examination was carried out following a request for evidence by Stephen Timms, a Minister in the last Labour Government (and previously Minister with responsibility for the NWDA) who was concerned about the "very serious allegations" of further Broomhead texts.

Following the election, the allegations were put to the latest government Minister with responsibility for the NWDA, Vince Cable, who has failed to act, so now the text is being made public for the first time.

We asked the NWDA for a comment from Steve Broomhead and also asked if he would be resigning.

The NWDA responded… "The Agency can confirm that the issue of inappropriate texts was dealt with nearly four years ago. The issue was raised again last year by the original complainant, further investigated and responded to. The Agency now regards this matter as closed."

However, Steve Broomhead has never apologised in public for the gay joke text, only the original `Paki' joke text. The public, and it appears the Government, has been unaware of a second text up until now.

We asked the Manchester based Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) for a quote. Surely this organisation, which promotes an annual Walk Against Homophobia amongst other great diversity work, would be furious?

An LGF spokesperson responded: "Having raised the matter with the NWDA we are satisfied that the NWDA dealt with the situation within its employment and equal opportunities policies."

What? No public criticism of the hypocrisy of the NWDA that states it has an `onus' to `promote positive attitudes' and `eliminate harassment', while its Chief Exec sends out a joke about Elton John's sexuality? Even though the LGF's mission is `Ending Homophobia, Empowering People'? How strange!

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation receives sponsorship from the NWDA for its Walk Against Homophobia. Indeed, the NWDA is one of the Walk's two main sponsors…


This isn't the first time Steve Broomhead - 2009 NWDA salary package £196,942 plus a CETV pension pot of almost £1million -  has been involved in controversy. A few years ago he had to explain two tax payer funded chauffeur driven trips to the Rugby Challenge Cup finals, and recently had to defend an attack from David Cameron over NWDA office space in the `surf paradise' of Orange County, USA.

Now, £52million has already been slashed from the NWDA budget by the ConDem coalition, and the NWDA is set to be scrapped by 2012 in favour of a Local Enterprise Partnership.

Don't expect Elton John to be playing at Broomhead's leaving party…

`So goodbye yellow brick road
 Where the dogs of society howl…'


Words by Jack Rogers


vfg wrote
at 10:32:09 AM on Thursday, October 1, 2015
fock off
John Davies wrote
at 4:51:31 PM on Monday, January 30, 2012
It seems that Broomhead is now on the Wellbeing Council for the new Health Service deforms of Lansley. Warrington
Tom wrote
at 2:23:59 PM on Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Please don't say you respect my opinion when you clearly haven't understood what I said, nor respond to it relevantly. Hypocrisy doesn't apply if the message wasn't actually homophobic, which I don't think it is.
Jim Devine wrote
at 11:46:59 AM on Tuesday, August 31, 2010
TOM,I respect your opinion but to me its the hypocrisy and double standards of the people who espous politial corretness and then break their own rules.How must these officers feel and just read what the deputy of Salford City Council had to say......Would he say the same about Broomhead in public ? Racist texts police sacked FOUR policemen who exchanged a racist text message have been sacked by Greater Manchester Police. It is understood that the offensive text, found on their private mobile phones, was written in the form of a joke and contained the word "n*****". A police inspector reported it to his bosses after one of the men showed him the message. At least two of the officers were off-duty when the text was sent, said the Police Federation's Greater Manchester branch. A 10-month internal investigation was held and the four were sacked following an internal disciplinary tribunal held at GMP headquarters at Chester House, Old Trafford, last week. They are the first serving officers to be dismissed by GMP over a racist text message. Three of them were based in Salford. The other was based at a police station in south Manchester. The four have not been named. The officers admitted “sending, receiving or showing a racist text message to colleagues”. The men have two weeks to request a review of the case with Chief Constable Michael Todd. If the tribunal’s decision is upheld, the four have the opportunity to take the case to an independent police appeals tribunal. Advice The four men are understood to be seeking legal advice on an appeal against the decision. In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said: “A Greater Manchester Police internal disciplinary tribunal has sacked four GMP officers after they admitted sending, receiving or showing a racist text message to colleagues. “The four officers, all men, admitted the incident, which came to light on September 16, 2004, when one of the officers showed the message to a colleague, who reported it. “Greater Manchester Police remains resolute in its determination to ensure that racism, discriminatory or exclusionary behaviour of any kind has no place in the force.” The Manchester Evening News revealed in October last year that two of the officers had been removed from frontline duties after the text message emerged. Investigations into the two other officers were launched after the text’s origins were traced. Police Federation secretary Gordon Johnson said: “The federation does not condone racism, sexism or homophobia of any kind. “The case is finished but they can still appeal. For them to comment in the process would jeopardise that. “The four officers have co-operated fully throughout the inquiry and fully admitted the allegations.” It is thought that they voluntarily gave up their mobile phones for examination. Coun David Lancaster, Salford council’s deputy leader and spokesman for crime and disorder, who recently became a member of the Police Authority, said: “I have no time for anyone who makes racist remarks or comments. “In my opinion, the officers got what they deserved – it was a sackable offence.”
Tom wrote
at 11:56:45 AM on Monday, August 30, 2010
I don't really see a huge issue with this. Yes, the joke is in poor taste, but it was made privately and it's a bit of a stretch to call it homophobic, just a bit childish - hence the LGF's response. So a whole article about how this privately made joke is in conflict with the NWDA's ideals on non-discriminations is clutching at straws, to put it mildly. Please stick to attacking figures of authority for misdeeds that actually matter, because as presented this appears to be a non-story.
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 1:26:25 AM on Sunday, August 22, 2010
I agree with Carrie Fergus. Richard Carvath should have the right to voice his opinion and long may it continue. The problem I have with his opinions is that he proposes them as 'fact' or as being the 'natural truth'. His use of words often leaves a lot to be desired also. I have to say I find his stance on homosexuality particularly inflamatory, bigoted and totally incorrect, but typical of an evangelical bible basher. I am what is called a 'straight' guy, whatever that means, but I would defend the rights of individuals to live their private lives as they see fit, in peace and freedom and expect the same from them. It's one thing to express an opinion, but it's quite another to insult and demean others especially in public. This shows a serious flaw in Richard Carvath's character. I know almost nothing of LGF, but it they help people who need it then they are to be commended. It is necessary to hear the views of people like Richard Carvath because it gives the opportunity to challenge them, which should be done on every front.
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 3:33:21 PM on Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Hey maybe somebody could set up some kind of organisation to help Richard Carvath. Give him a message of hope that he could be cured of holding such twisted views. Richard, we are here to help you.
Carrie Fergus wrote
at 1:20:24 PM on Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Even though I dont agree with Mr Carvath I admire his honesty and I feel his right to air these strange views should be protected whereas sly underhand homophobic texting from a public funded authority Chief which ridicules gays deserves the scorn it is receiving. " Authorities shouldnt be the truth, the truth should be authority".
Paolo wrote
at 1:16:11 PM on Wednesday, August 18, 2010
A prayer for Richard Carvath - you homophobic 'see you next tuesday'. When the day of judgement comes, May you burn in the fires of the very hell you make. May every torture come upon you when damnation falls on your hateful soul. May you finally realise that the only real with homosexuals is dreamed up in your sick and hateful mind and that nobody elses sexuality is, in fact any of your business to criticise. (although we do have to wonder why you spend so much of your time thinking about homosexuals - is it a firemans uniform you see yourself wearing while you are saving us all, or is it the classic night in shining armour?) I personally think that nutcases like you should be banished from society but hey I will probably get done for a hate incident for saying that while you will get away with saying whatever the hell you like. Perhaps this bothers you so much do not sleep well at night. I, on the other hand do, because I can curl up in the arms of another loving man. Ciao
Chris wrote
at 10:26:27 AM on Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Is that Richard Carvath the homophobic bigot commenting on this story?? Sheesh.
Richard Carvath wrote
at 10:25:01 AM on Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Em3, it's practising the homosexual lifestyle that drives homosexuals to suicide. As an organisation which encourages the homosexual lifstyle LGF is therefore implicated in the bad things which happen to those people it deceives - including when they top themselves in despair. Homosexuals need to hear a message of hope - a message that healing is possible and help is available - but they get the opposite from LGF. Homosexuals can be healed and restored to their normal, natural heterosexuality. The help is there for those that want to get out of the gay lifestyle - and good luck to those who go for it.
Em3 wrote
at 2:10:49 AM on Wednesday, August 18, 2010
LGF support many salford and manchester people who may be driven to suicide by the bigotry of people like Broomhead. Their work and reputation is second to none. Great journalism the Star - exposing the hypocrites in power as usual.
Glen Gormley wrote
at 12:25:34 PM on Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Mike,A sad reflection but really well said. That is one of the most perceptive blogs I have read. It reinforces my respect for a small website like Salford Star who are prepared to challenge these people. It is my belief that the NWDA threatened legal action to stop this story and when I heard this good old Rabbi Burns sprung to mind when he said "Here's freedom to him who would speak. Here's freedom to him who would write. For there's none ever feared that the truth should be heard, Save he who the truth would indict " To me the North West media create individuals like this man Broomhead by their lack of journalistic integrity. As the LGF have proven, money really talks. Unfortunately in this caes it is our money.
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 9:14:44 AM on Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Do we really suppose Mr Broomhead is too concerned about this? Ok so he was caught out, he apologised and kept his very lucrative job, but so did all the politicians who fiddled their expenses, most notably for us, Hazel Blears. People in those positions, while seeming to be shocked in public, tend to close ranks in private. Their philosophy is to say 'you silly person, try not to get caught next time. Now apologise and we'll sweep it under the carpet, if there's any room left. If the whole of the NWDA staff were 'caught out' in a similar way, I doubt there would be anyone left to open the door in the morning. If anyone expects organizations such as, NWDA or a local Council or any such body to take serious and justified action against any of their senior staff for any wrongdoing they will be disappointed.
Glen Gormley wrote
at 6:17:37 AM on Tuesday, August 17, 2010
This is another great piece of journalism by the Salford Star, showing up the hypocrisy of our so called honourable leaders. What is even more concerning about Broomheads behaviour is the driver he sent these texts to suddenly became his chauffeur, paid for by the taxpayer. The job didnt exist before and when a complaint went in the NWDA said Broomhead played no part in the driver getting the job and they blamed and disciplined a junior member of staff. Yes, the CEO was absolved and a junior member of staff had to take a formal written warning. Surely the texts are enough proof of a friendship or does Broomhead just whizz these off to any casual associate. The man is a disgrace and should be nowhere near public life and you do have to question the North Wests press and their lack of pursuit of this story.
a Gay but not a Mafia wrote
at 12:25:37 AM on Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Considering the LGF are hosting a conference with the head of NWDA this Saturday I can't see that going down well. The LGF only complain about people who don't pay their protection racket.
G Lyons wrote
at 3:57:31 PM on Monday, August 16, 2010
It does make you wonder about the double standards in this country. When laws are being made, standards being created, policies are being produced. When the people who make these are just as fallable as the rest. The only difference they pretend they are prefect and when caught a one off error of judgement, or stress or bad accountacy. It makes me sick.
Colin Fishwick wrote
at 12:47:30 PM on Monday, August 16, 2010
Aah so Mr B strikes again!!! Oh well at least he will get a good pay off like most of his over paid staff now they are all being offered voluntary redundancy! Its a shame the Tories didnt get in sooner!
William J Pope wrote
at 10:09:20 AM on Monday, August 16, 2010
this is an excellent piece of journalism, I always suspected this bunch of scroungers of wrong doing. I recall a programe on Radio 4 that went some way to expose their wrong doing........my worry is that I am convinced this is only the tip of the iceberg. Well done Salford Star !!! William Pope
Richard Carvath wrote
at 10:07:37 AM on Monday, August 16, 2010
I wouldn't waste any breath on the LGF. They had a go at me twice last year over Matthew Sephton - the gay Tory rival of Hazel Blears who she publicly supported on the LGF website - and they clearly don't have any clout with anybody.
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