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Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie's hijab remarks: ITN files official complaint with press watchdog over Fatima Manji comments

ITN has filed an official complaint with IPSO over comments made by the former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie about the decision to use a Muslim reporter to cover the Nice attacks.

MacKenzie prompted anger after questioning why, as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, Fatima Manji was chosen to report on the terror attack in Nice.

In the column, the 69-year-old wrote he “couldn’t believe his eyes” after seeing the journalist, who has been at the station for four years, reporting on the terror attacks.

“Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there has been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim?” he wrote. “Was it done to stick one in the eye of the ordinary viewer who looks at the hijab as a sign of slavery by Muslim women by a male-dominated and clearly violent religion?”

His column on Monday sparked more than 1,700 complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso).

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Ben de Pear, editor of Channel 4 News, said the network could not "stand by" while Ms Manji was the victim of “religious discrimination”.

He said: “Yesterday Channel 4 News correspondent Fatima Manji made an official complaint to Ipso following Kelvin MacKenzie's column published in The Sun on Monday.

“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.

“A further complaint was also made by ITN CEO 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. What it cannot accept is an employee being singled out on the basis of her religion.

“We are not going to simply stand by when an employee is subject to an act of religious discrimination.”

Manji responded in a column for the Liverpool Echo, where she accused Mackenzie of trying to smear Muslims and intimidate them out of public life.

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