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Myers sacked by Sunday Times after 'anti-Semitic' column storm

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Kevin Myers’s column in The Sunday Times caused offence

Kevin Myers’s column in The Sunday Times caused offence

Kevin Myers’s column in The Sunday Times caused offence

Controversial columnist Kevin Myers has been dropped by the Sunday Times and the newspaper has been forced to apologise for "causing offence to Jewish people" after a piece he wrote was deemed to be anti-Semitic.

In his column for the newspaper, Myers commented on high-profile women working at the BBC.

Myers noted that two of its best-paid female presenters, Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, were Jewish as part of a critical article on the row over its gender pay gap.

Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of the Sunday Times Ireland, said the column "contained views that have caused considerable distress and upset to a number of people", before confirming that Myers will "not write again for The Sunday Times Ireland".

Disgusted

Gideon Falter, chairman of the UK-based Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, welcomed the move, noting "we've been contacted by people today who are utterly disgusted..." by the piece.

The organisation has also lodged formal complaints with the Press Council of Ireland and the Office of Press Ombudsman as well as its UK counterpart, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

Mr Falter said the "utterly vile" column used offensive stereotypes about Jews and was "beyond surprising to read something like this in a national newspaper in 2017".

"As the editor of the Ireland edition, I take full responsibility for this error of judgment," Mr Fitzgibbon said in a statement yesterday.

"This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people." He said the newspaper will publish a full apology in its next edition after removing the column from its website yesterday.

Error

His UK counterpart Martin Ivens, editor of the Sunday Times, called Myers's comments "unacceptable" and added they should not have been published.

The comments have been taken down and he apologised for the remarks and the error of judgment.

Mr Myers could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Sunday Times column appeared in its Comment section with the headline 'Sorry ladies - equal pay has to be earned'.

In his discussion on the ongoing gender pay controversy within the BBC, he singled out BBC presenters Winkleman and Feltz as "two of the best paid women presenters in the BBC with whose, no doubt sterling work I am tragically unacquainted - are Jewish".

"Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price," he added.


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