Entertainment & Arts

Fatima Manji complains over Kelvin MacKenzie hijab remarks

Fatima Manji Image copyright Channel 4 News
Image caption Fatima Manji co-presented the news bulletin from the London studio the day after the attack

Channel 4 News reporter Fatima Manji has complained to the press watchdog over comments made by a Sun columnist about her wearing a hijab while reporting the Nice attack.

Writing on Monday, Kelvin MacKenzie questioned whether the Muslim presenter should have appeared on the bulletin.

In his latest column, the former editor said his views were "reasonable".

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) said it received some 1,700 complaints over the remarks.

Manji co-presented the Channel 4 News bulletin - produced by ITN - from London while Jon Snow reported from France during the coverage of the attacks in Nice on 15 July.

The programme's editor, Ben de Pear, said the correspondent had been a victim of "religious discrimination".

"Yesterday, Channel 4 News correspondent Fatima Manji made an official complaint to Ipso.

"ITN believes the article was in breach of a number of provisions of the Editor's Code, in particular discrimination, harassment by intimidation and inaccuracy."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kelvin MacKenzie questioned whether it was appropriate for a Muslim to report on the Nice attack

De Pear said a "further complaint" had been made by ITN chief executive John Hardie "which fully supports and endorses the grounds and reasoning of Fatima's complaint".

"ITN accepts and understands that our reporters and presenters are in the public eye and can expect criticism and comment from many quarters, including newspaper columnists," he added.

"What it cannot accept is an employee being singled out on the basis of her religion."

In the latest edition of The Sun, MacKenzie said his question was a "simple" one and "a reasonable inquiry".

He added, in a question to the television regulator Ofcom, if presenters should "be allowed to wear artefacts which advertise their religion?" before equating a Christian wearing "a huge cross outside of their shirt or blouse" with the wearing of a hijab.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for The Sun said it was making "no comment" on the issue.

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