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Daily axes columnist after row over pulled racism piece

Paul CoxA regional daily has dismissed a columnist after he publicly criticised its decision to pull his piece about racism.

Comedian Paul Cox has confirmed the Portsmouth News has told him he “will no longer be required” to write his regular ‘Paul The Other One’ column for the newspaper “due to recent events”.

HTFP reported on Tuesday how the News had decided not to run Paul’s column, which touched on comments made by actress Adjoa Andoh’s about the Buckingham Palace balcony being “terribly white” following King Charles III’s Coronation, because it “did not sit well”.

Ms Andoh’s remarks had prompted Paul, pictured, to write that “an extraordinary competition has ensued to crown the winner of the most victimised group”, adding that people were being encouraged to “indulge in the ‘right’ type of racism”.

After the piece was not run, Paul criticised the decision in a blog post in which he also shared the full text of the column.

He confirmed his dismissal in a Twitter post yesterday, which came after the most recent column he submitted was not published.

Paul wrote: “In an unsurprising turn of events, the piece I wrote for today’s Paul The Other One column for the Portsmouth News was not published.

“I was not informed by the editor, but by regular readers.

“It was an honour to write for the people of Portsmouth and the paper I delivered as a boy.

“In exciting news, Paul The Other One will continue.”

He added yesterday: “For balance, the Portsmouth News have now contacted me to let me know that ‘due to recent events’ my column writing services will no longer be required.”

Speaking to HTFP, Paul said: “The last time I spoke with the editor they were keen for me to continue. That said it’s not entirely surprising.

“I did speak out and this approach is consistent with previous interactions.

“To quote a follower, my point is proven. Have an opinion, just make sure it’s the right one. I will continue to write ‘Paul the Other One’, this is just the beginning.”

In an email to Paul rejecting his Coronation column, the head of print at the News had said: “We live in an age where racism is an incredibly touchy subject and I am concerned about a white person making comments about racism and using phrases like ‘competition for the most victimised group’ and ‘the ‘right’ type of racism’ in the paper.”

HTFP has approached the paper for further comment.