Vanessa Feltz brands Kevin Myers article 'horrifying'

BBC presenter Vanessa Feltz has described a Sunday Times column written by Kevin Myers as "horrifying racism".

She said the piece was "every vile stereotype about what Jewish people have ever been deemed to be by racists".

Speaking on the breakfast show on BBC Radio London, Ms Feltz questioned how something "so blatantly racist" was allowed in the paper.

"When someone alerted me to it ... I couldn't believe such a thing had been printed. It is absolutely gratuitous, not cleverly done, it's blatant racism. When you see it like that it's very horrifying," said Ms Feltz.

Vanessa Feltz
Vanessa Feltz

She added: "The editor personally rung me to apologise. He said he was horrified."

Ms Feltz said the piece was hurtful and that she could not understand how, with all the layers a story has to go through before it is published, how it was allowed in the paper.

Editor Martin Ivens said the piece, which was in the Irish edition and online, should not have been published.

The newspaper removed an online version of the piece on Sunday morning amid a wave of outrage, but it appeared in printed editions of the newspaper across Ireland. Myers has been told that he will not write for the paper again.

The column, with the headline: "Sorry, ladies - equal pay has to be earned", follows criticism of the BBC, after it was revealed two-thirds of its stars earning more than £150,000 are male.

Noting that two of the best-paid female presenters, Winkleman and Feltz, were Jewish, Mr Myers wrote: "Good for them.

"Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity.

"I wonder, who are their agents? If they're the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in the marketplace."

Times readers - who must pay a subscription to access online content - commented on the original article to express their disgust.

The article was taken down following anger on social media and a formal complaint from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism to press regulator Ipso.

Mr Ivens offered the paper's "sincere apology, both for the remarks and the error of judgment that led to publication".

Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of the Sunday Times Ireland, said he took "full responsibility", adding: "This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people."

A News UK spokesman said the column included "unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace".

The newspaper has said Mr Myers "will not write again" for the Sunday Times.


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