The Sun just terminated Kelvin MacKenzie’s employment after horrifying column
Former editor of The Sun Kelvin MacKenzie has been axed by the newspaper.
News UK, who owns The Sun and other Murdoch titles, says MacKenzie’s employment with the paper has been “terminated by mutual consent”.
He was suspended after he wrote a column comparing Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, whose grandfather was born in Nigeria, to a gorilla.
Mr MacKenzie claimed the Everton player was “thick” and said that when he sees the footballer he gets “a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo”.
He also claimed the only other people with “similar pay packets” in Liverpool were “drug dealers”.
News UK said: “Further to our statement on 15 April that Kelvin MacKenzie’s services as a columnist for the Sun were suspended, we can confirm that Mr MacKenzie’s column will not return to the Sun and his contract with News Group Newspapers has been terminated by mutual consent.”
The decision was apparently taken by Rebekah Brooks, who was re-appointed by owner Rupert Murdoch as Chief Exec of News UK after she was acquitted of phone hacking charges.
The newspaper has also divested from MacKenzie’s financial advice website, with a spokesperson saying: “News UK is no longer a shareholder in A Spokesman Said Ltd.
“The shares have been transferred to Kelvin MacKenzie.”
News UK refused to comment on whether MacKenzie had received a severance payment.
Mr MacKenzie edited the paper between 1981 and 1994, and had recently been brought back to the paper to write a regular opinion column.
Last week a statement was issued saying his exit was inevitable after a police investigation ws launched into his recent column.
“Kelvin will not be employed by News [UK] for much longer,” the FT quoted one person involved in the talks as saying.
It’s not the first time the right-wing journalist has caused great offence.
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While editor of The Sun, the tabloid regularly published anti-LGBT stories, and propagated fear and ignorance around the HIV AIDS breakout in the 1980s.
Stories published by the newspaper while he was editor included claiming straight people can’t get Aids, writing that Aids is a “gay plague” and calling gay vicars “pulpit poofs”.
He wrote: “What concerns me about Stonewall is that they will kick up a fuss about something that doesn’t matter but rarely mention a word about the hostile attitude of Muslims towards homosexuality, which threatens gay communities globally.
“If you look on the Stonewall site you would be hard-pressed to find one word suggesting Islam persecutes gay sexuality.”
A spokesperson for Stonewall responded to his angry outburst saying: “By suggesting that we should ‘fight Islam’ Kelvin Mackenzie yet again spreads the false idea that religion and LGBT equality are not compatible.”