Kevin Myers sacked from Sunday Times over 'anti-Semitic' article

Journalist Kevin Myers, pictured last year leaving the inquest into the death of teenager Manus Deery in Derry

CONTROVERSIAL columnist Kevin Myers has been sacked by The Sunday Times after a huge public backlash over comments condemned as anti-Semitic.

The Irish edition of the newspaper said it "abhorred anti-Semitism" after publishing a column which noted how two of the BBC's best-paid female presenters, Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, are Jewish.

The article was removed from The Times online edition.

Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens is believed to have apologised personally to the two women for the "unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace".

"It has been taken down and we sincerely apologise, both for the remarks and the error of judgment that led to publication," he said.

The newspaper added: "We can confirm that Kevin Myers will not write again for The Sunday Times Ireland.

"A printed apology will appear in next week's paper."

The column in yesterday's Sunday Times has been removed from online

Read more: Vanessa Feltz hsa described the column as "horrifying racism".

Born in England to an Irish family, Mr Myers has in the past been a columnist for several Irish newspapers - including writing An Irishman's Diary in The Irish Times - as well as working for state broadcaster RTE.

He also published a book, Watching the Door, which covered his time working as a journalist in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

His comments about Ms Winkleman and Ms Feltz in yesterday's Irish edition of the paper sparked an immediate backlash on social media.

Speaking about the women's pay, Myers said: "Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity."

His column followed the publication earlier this month of the BBC's highest earners.

It revealed the the best paid presenter, Chris Evans, receives over £2 million a year, four times as much as Ms Winkleman as the highest paid female star.

Mr Myers also wrote in the column that men usually work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant.

Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of the Sunday Times Ireland, said it contained views that have caused considerable distress and upset to a number of people.

"As the editor of the Ireland edition, I take full responsibility for this error of judgment.

"This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people."

Mr Myers, who in the past described himself as a "Holocaust denier" because he disagreed with the term and figures for the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis, had not commented on the controversy last night.

The journalist has previously come under fire for a column entitled "Africa is giving nothing to anyone – apart from AIDS", for which he was reported to the former press watchdog.

Last year he gave evidence at the inquest of 15-year-old Manus Deery who was shot dead by the British army in Derry in 1972.

Mr Myers was in the Bogside working for RTE news at the time and told the coroner he saw the victim seconds after the fatal shot was fired.

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