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Dublin: 1°C Tuesday 26 January 2021

Kelvin MacKenzie leaves Sun 'by mutual consent' after comparing footballer to gorilla

The columnist was suspended from the newspaper after making the controversial comments.

download Kelvin MacKenzie Source: PA Wire/PA Images

KELVIN MACKENZIE HAS left The Sun newspaper after controversy over comments he made about English footballer Ross Barkley.

MacKenzie was suspended from the newspaper last month after writing a column in which he described Barkley as “thick” and compared him to a gorilla.

The Everton midfielder’s grandfather is from Nigeria and many people viewed the remarks as a racial slur. The Sun apologised to Barkley (23) after a public backlash.

ross Source: Twitter

In a statement released to BBC News, News UK, which publishes The Sun and The Times, 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.”

MacKenzie edited The Sun between 1981 and 1994 and has written a weekly column since 2015.

He was the editor at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died in 1989. The newspaper’s coverage of the aftermath led to a long-standing boycott of the paper in the Merseyside area.

With reporting by Rónán Duffy

Read: The Sun apologises for Ross Barkley column, says ‘there was never any slur intended’

Read: Sun suspends Kelvin MacKenzie over ‘unfunny’ Ross Barkley column

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Órla Ryan

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