AddThis SmartLayers

Daily apologises over first person piece attacking diversity

A regional daily has apologised after a first person piece which attacked diversity in the United Kingdom.

The Hull Daily Mail has said sorry over the article, written by a reader called Will Wright, which accused people with ancestry from the Indian sub-continent and the Caribbean of having “divided loyalty”.

It also criticised “militant gay groups”, “political Islamists” and “anti-British ideologies”.

The piece’s publication drew “anger and outrage” among readers, according to Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy, who took to Twitter to criticise it.

Hull fp

The article, pictured above, appeared in Thursday’s edition, with an apology appearing the following day.

Jenna Thompson, digital editor of the Mail’s Hull Live sister site, posted on Twitter: “We apologise unreservedly. The views published do not reflect ours as a newspaper and were the opinion of a reader, which we understand have caused offence to communities.

“With regards to how this happened, an unedited submission was published when it should not have been.

“We have been experiencing disruption as we begin working from home to protect the health of our employees and this was not seen by a senior member of staff before printing.

“An apology will be published in tomorrow’s Hull Daily Mail and the First Person column will be withdrawn until further notice.

“We have spoken to the staff member involved who is, understandably, devastated. There will be additional staff training and we will learn from this.”

In her own statement, published on Thursday, Labour MP Ms Hardy said: “It has been brought to my attention by many of my constituents today, that an article in the Hull Daily Mail has caused a lot of anger and outrage with its divisive and hateful rhetoric.

“We as a community and a country can not tolerate incitement of hatred against anyone, especially when we are united in our battle with coronavirus.

“I have spoken personally to HDM and they assured me they will be printing a public apology tomorrow.

“I hope this can then be put to be and we can move forward together and united.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • March 23, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Wait a minute. Newspapers are largely produced remotely these days, whether it is a senior or junior member of staff the editor should have seen it.

    I think to try and pass it off as a Covid-19 problem is a little disingenuous.

    If the editor is away then it was someone else’s job to check the copy.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(29)
  • March 23, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    My local paper published a letter which contained the phrase “this makes us no different to immigrants and Muslims who are invading this country.” This is what happens when you cut costs and replace skilled staff with inexperienced box-fillers. Nothing whatsoever to do with Covid-19!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(24)
  • March 23, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    If Percy Hoskins has any experience of working on a newspaper, certainly a daily, he would know that the editor does not see everything before it is printed and neither does his deputy.

    I was made redundant more than 10 years ago and since then staffing – and the pressure of work – have become tighter on all newspapers.

    My editor, rightly, read readers’ letters before they were passed to me. However, it would have been impossible for him to have more than skimmed them because some were unprintable for a variety of reasons, or contained news stories that needed following up.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(6)