BBC's Vanessa Feltz 'extremely upset over racist Sunday Times column'

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BBC presenter Vanessa Feltz has said she is “extremely upset” by a column published in The Sunday Times which suggested she earns more than female colleagues because she’s Jewish.

The radio host also questioned how the “obviously racist” piece by Kevin Myers found its way into print.

It appeared in the Irish edition of the title and was removed from the newspaper’s website after readers expressed disgust at its publication.

Speaking on BBC Radio London where she presents the breakfast show, Ms Feltz said: “I would have thought after all these years I’d be immune or used to it, but that’s not at all how I felt. I felt extremely upset.

“The apologies are all very well but how did it end up in the paper in the first place?” she added.

Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens apologised for the piece and said it should never have been published.

The column, headlined ‘Sorry, ladies – equal pay has to be earned’, addressed the gender pay gap row embroiling the BBC and commented that two of the organisation’s best-paid female presenters – Ms Feltz and Claudia Winkelman – are Jewish.

Mr Myers wrote: “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.”

The comments sparked an immediate backlash with Sunday Times readers labelling the article anti-Semitic and racist.

The Campaign Against Anti Semitism said it would report the “brazenly anti-Semitic” article to the Independent Press Standards Organisation and asked for confirmation that Mr Myers will not write again for any News UK title.

It said in a statement: “It is clear that Kevin Myers should not have been invited to write for the Sunday Times, and his editors should never have allowed the article to be published.

“That they removed the article within hours of publishing it is proof that the decision was irrefutably wrong.”

Later on Sunday, the newspaper confirmed Mr Myers would never write again for the title.

Editor Mr Ivens said: “The comments in a column by Kevin Myers in today’s Irish edition of The Sunday Times were unacceptable and should not have been published.

“It has been taken down and we sincerely apologise both for the remarks and the error of judgement that led to publication.”

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