Kelvin MacKenzie said Everton player Ross Barkley deserved to be punched. This Site apologises if the image traumatises readers, but it is appropriate to show Mr MacKenzie in a story about him [Image: Steve Meddle/REX/Shutterstock].

The Sun has been instrumental in creating the social divisions that have allowed Conservatives and other right-wingers to rule the UK for decades – mostly because of the views of former editor Kelvin MacKenzie.

He was the paper’s editor when it published abominable claims about the behaviour of the people of Liverpool during the Hillsborough tragedy – and dared to headline these lies as The truth.

Now, at long last, he seems to have come unstuck. Even his former employers have seen fit to withdraw his latest column, after complaints that it constituted a racial hate crime.

This Writer looks forward to future developments in this matter.

But let us not forget that The Sun did publish his article. Claims that the views expressed therein were wrong and are not held by the paper’s owners and managers are hard to believe when they were published in its pages.

Did nobody bother to read the piece before it went to press?

If not, then far more serious questions are to be asked about the way The Sun is run.

The Sun has suspended Kelvin MacKenzie after Merseyside police said they were investigating a column in which he compared the footballer Ross Barkley, who is of mixed race, to a gorilla.

The paper’s former editor, who writes a weekly column, claimed he was not surprised that the Everton player, whose grandfather is Nigerian, was punched in a nightclub because he was similar to an animal in a zoo.

The paper removed the article from their website on Friday afternoon and later suspended MacKenzie. News UK, the owners of the Sun, said: “The views expressed by Kelvin MacKenzie about the people of Liverpool were wrong, unfunny and are not the view of the paper. The Sun apologises for the offence caused. The paper was unaware of Ross Barkley’s heritage and there was never any slur intended. Mr MacKenzie is currently on holiday and the matter will be fully investigated on his return.”

Merseyside police confirmed they had launched an investigation in relation to the column after receiving an online complaint from a member of the public alleging that “comments written about a third party constituted a racial hate crime”.

The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, tweeted to say he had reported the article to Merseyside police and the Press Complaints Commission for being a “racial slur”.

Source: Police investigate racial hate complaint over Kelvin MacKenzie Sun column on Ross Barkley | Media | The Guardian

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