The presumption is innocent. Horace Rumpole’s ‘golden thread which runs through British justice’ has been turned on its head time and again in recent years.

Ex-England Cricket Captain Michael Vaughan is the latest high-profile victim. He finds himself in outer darkness after being accused of racism.

Both the BBC and BT Sport yesterday dropped Vaughan from their coverage of this winter’s Ashes series in Australia. He had been removed from his Radio Five interview with Phil Tufnell.

The BBC cited ‘editorial reasons’ for sacking Vaughan from the Test Match Special team. 

Both the BBC and BT Sport yesterday dropped Vaughan from their coverage of this winter’s Ashes series in Australia

BT Sport had been planning to use commentary from Australia’s Fox network. Vaughan was part of Fox’s Fox network line-up, and BT has said it would make alternate arrangements if he were to be dumped.

The broadcasters’ craven rush to distance themselves from Vaughan comes in the wake of tearful testimony to a Commons select committee from former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq.

It is clear that cricket suffers from antediluvian attitudes to race. Not just at certain levels, but all over the game.

Official inquiries are underway and heads have been rolled already. However, this isn’t a valid excuse to conduct a Jimmy Savile style witch-hunt on individuals who are only accused of hearsay.

The allegation against Vaughan is that, when he was captain of Yorkshire in 2009, he told a group of Asian players: ‘There’s too many of you lot, we need to do something.’

Some team-mates support Rafiq’s claims, others don’t. None of us were there, so we can’t possibly know what was said, or in what context.

Vaughan might be a BNP paid member, but I doubt that. After Rafiq’s testimony, I heard Monty Panesar, an England cricketer of Punjabi heritage, lavishing praise on Vaughan’s man-management skills and telling LBC radio that he didn’t believe his ex- captain was a racist.

The broadcasters’ craven rush to distance themselves from Vaughan comes in the wake of tearful testimony to a Commons select committee from former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq

The broadcasters’ craven rush to distance themselves from Vaughan comes in the wake of tearful testimony to a Commons select committee from former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq

Regardless of what the truth is, his allegations fall on the low end. It’s not as if he was in the habit of taking to the field wearing a white hood and planting a burning cross at silly mid-on.

Vaughan categorically refutes Rafiq’s version of events. But he was denied the due process.

We’re back in ‘always believe the victim’ territory here.

Vaughan’s character and career are being annihilated by ‘evidence’ which would be challenged as inadmissible in a court of law. Everybody has the right to defend themselves, including murderers and rapists.

The single ‘racist’ remark he is alleged to have made dates back 12 years. As Her Maj stated in other circumstances, Recollections might differ.

Vaughan was a former England captain and might have expected that he would be given a fair hearing. This treacherous path has been traveled before.

Have no lessons been learned from the disgraceful Operation Yewtree and Operation Midland blitzkriegs into ‘historic’ sex crimes, which ruined the lives of innocent men and their families?

The BBC did not reflect upon the inhumanity that was heaped on Tony Blackburn and Paul Gambaccini during the panic post-Jimmy Savile.

Evidently not. The usual guidelines no longer apply to sexual misconduct or racism accusations. To appease the Twitter burning-torch mob, ducking stool justice will be the order of day.

Vaughan is innocent. Chuck him at the bonfire. But there’s a problem with Rumpole’s golden thread. As Rafiq quickly found, once you pull it on, everything unravels.

Shortly after his testimony to MPs, it was revealed that he wasn’t entirely without sin, either.

The Times discovered anti-Semitic comments he posted to another cricketer via Facebook in 2011. To his credit, he apologised profusely and his supporters insisted that his disparaging remarks about Jews shouldn’t detract from the validity of his evidence about widespread racism in cricket.

It is true, however, it illustrates the dangers of basing judgments on unwise, unsavoury and unguarded comments made in the distant past.

Pity such leniency hasn’t been extended to Michael Vaughan.

The self-proclaimed anti-racists demanding that Vaughan should be ‘cancelled’ for ever could do worse than take notice of the measured reaction of Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

She acknowledged that Rafiq now understood the hurt he had caused and said: ‘His apology certainly seems heartfelt and we have no reason to believe he is not completely sincere.’

It was a good thing that there was at least one adult in the room. Unlike the usual social media lynch mob’s reaction to their quarry, she didn’t demand that Rafiq should become a pariah and lose his livelihood in perpetuity.

When they’re young, people do stupid and meanless things. The foundation for any civilized society lies in the belief of forgiveness and redemption.

There is already a Rehabilitation of Offenders Act that effectively expels previous convictions, depending upon their severity.

In the interests of bringing peace to Northern Ireland, the government issued ‘comfort letters’ guaranteeing that hundreds of on-the-run terrorists would not be prosecuted.

Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, and Michael Vaughan could put their past behind them, and become members of government. Michael Vaughan, however, can still be part the Test Match Special team and keep his reputation intact.

Especially as the charge against him is unsubstantiated and hasn’t been tested in court.

Vaughan, if he were still playing after he had been given out LBW would have the right to appeal at Hawk-Eye as well as to the Third Umpire.

Also, he ought to have been allowed to present a defense before the sentence was given and then taken off to be executed.

Scouring the past for ‘historic’ outrage is tearing society apart. It’s time we declared an amnesty and remembered that ‘golden thread’.

Innocent until proven guilty.

Thumbs up, three sombreros to Red Wall Tory MP Scott Benton, who asked Labour show-off Stella Creasy what made her ‘so special’ she thought she could bring her baybee into the Commons chamber.

Blackpool South Constituency women earn less than one-third of their husband’s salary and still make arrangements for child care.

Precisely. It would be a great idea if all MPs brought their children to work. What if some Hon Member’s Kevin the Teenager had been excluded from school? What if he was allowed to play Grand Theft Auto while sloshing on green benches?

Given that most MPs spend their time tapping on their phones, why not?

Carrie would quickly dump Wilf onto Boris while she saved lobsters from being tortured. The Commons would look something like a suburban bar where screaming youngsters run wild, grabbing pints and padding pizza all over.

Mind you, after watching the PMQs and a couple of unruly kids crawling and peking all over the despatch boxes, I think it might raise the mood.

Where would it end if every MP brought their offspring to work? What if some Hon Member’s Kevin the Teenager had been excluded from school? Could he lollop on the green benches, playing Grand Theft Auto on his iPad?

It would be a great idea if all MPs brought their children to work. What if some Hon Member’s Kevin the Teenager had been excluded from school? He could plod on the green benches and play Grand Theft Auto with his iPad.

 Westminster is consumed by the Dishi Rishi rift with Number 10 and the hunt for the ‘Chatty Pig’. Does anyone in the North Circular or the M25 take any notice of this? The majority of Red Wall residents think that the Chattypig is an A57 transport caff outside Worksop. Treble bacon banjos all round!

Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury) complained about how clergy are always depicted as idiots and rogues on TV.

Justin Welby would have been the one who compared climate change with the Holocaust. He also stood for Meghan Markle but failed to report to police a paedophile priest.

Which one do you prefer, Bish? Rogue or idiot.

A warm climate is the perfect place to find love 

Tsunamis, melting ice caps and plagues of boils. It doesn’t matter what it is, climate change will be blamed for it. But until now, nobody suspected that rising temperatures were causing rising divorce rates between — wait for it — albatrosses. That’s according to a study by scientists from the University of Lisbon. 

You couldn’t make it up. It’s amazing that albatrosses can get married. It seems that warmer waters prevented them from mating. Love Island contestants were not told. 

Wee Burney has adopted the green agenda in response to Cop26’s downfall. Judging by this picture, she’s already joined Extinction Rebellion.

How long before she glues herself to Glasgow’s Kingston Bridge in support of Insulate Britain?