Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel are taken off the nominations list…

ELEPHANT MAN and VYBZ KARTEL have had their MOBO nominations withdrawn amid arguments over ‘homophobic’ lyrics.

Organisers for the Music Of Black Origin awards demanded the pair apologise for their alleged anti-gay lyrics in their earlier work, following complaints from gay rights campaigners.

A spokesperson for MOBO said: “The last thing MOBO want to do is encourage prejudice.”

Representatives for the singers said that the artists had “moved on”, but no written apology had been received by the MOBO Academy.

“Mobo have not yet received written apologies as previously promised,” said a spokesperson. “We have therefore alerted the MOBO Academy to this situation and a decision has been taken to withdraw the nominations for Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel.”

OutRage! – a gay rights group – said that they were pleased about the dropping of the acts from the Best Reggae category.

OutRage! spokesperson Brett Lock told BBC news: “We applaud the decision of the MOBOs to drop these artists.”

The BBC were asked previously by OutRage! not to screen the ceremony unless MOBO organisers withdrew the controversial nominations.

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “The BBC will not broadcast any homophobic lyrics.”

The MOBO award winners will be announced on September 30, with highlights aired on BBC 1 on October 6.