UK police looking into ‘hate crime’ claim about Sun column

UK police looking into 'hate crime' claim about Sun column

LONDON — A complaint from Liverpool’s mayor has sparked police to investigate whether a column in The Sun newspaper constituted a hate crime.

Mayor Joe Anderson called for Kelvin MacKenzie to be fired after a column in which he compared a soccer player with African ancestry to a gorilla.

The mayor said MacKenzie “should not be employed by any news organization in this country” and accused him of having a “vindictive streak” toward Liverpool, a port city some 210 miles (340 kilometres) north of London known as the birthplace of the Beatles.

The Sun, a popular tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, has apologized for the incident and suspended the columnist, a provocative former editor of the tabloid who has antagonized Liverpool fans in the past.

“The views expressed by Kelvin MacKenzie about the people of Liverpool were wrong, unfunny and are not the view of the paper,” the newspaper said in a statement.

It said the newspaper was unaware of the player’s African heritage and that no slur had been intended. The Sun promised a full investigation when MacKenzie returns from vacation.

MacKenzie was in charge when The Sun published a front-page headline accusing Liverpool fans of responsibility in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which dozens of people died and hundreds were injured.

He apologized more than two decades later.

That made his comments about Everton player Ross Barkley’s intelligence particularly inflammatory.

Everton has responded by banning Sun journalists from the club’s stadium and training facilities.

“The newspaper has to know that any attack on this city, either against a much-respected community or individual, is not acceptable,” the club said on its website.

Police said Saturday they are looking into the matter after receiving an online complaint from a member of the public.

“Enquiries are now being carried out to establish the full circumstances of the incident,” police said in a statement. “We take all allegations of hate crime extremely seriously.”

The column has been removed from the newspaper’s website.

Gregory Katz, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Penticton Lakers curling team headed to high school provincials

Penticton Secondary School Lakers boys curling team will represent the zone at provincials

Premium electric rate for home-based businesses

After more than three decades, home businesses pay the same power rate as other Penticton residents

Penticton cyclist takes city to court over injuries

The man claims a depression in the road caused a crash, resulting in rib and facial fractures

Slayer adds Penticton to North American tour

Slayer adds the South Okanagan Events Centre as a stop on their last world tour

Tagger causes $30,000 damage

Penticton looking for help finding person responsible for graffiti

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Team chaplain reflects on time with Silverbacks

Kenny Toews served as a mentor and spiritual leader to the team for six seasons

Drawings connect autistic student with the world

Leifen Mitchell-Banks creates colourful cartoon characters at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

10 Safeways in Lower Mainland to close, union says

Locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Mission slated to shut

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

‘Miraculous that nobody was killed’

Tanker full of aviation fuel involved in Highway 3 crash

Most Read