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Telegraph forced into U-turn on Kelvin MacKenzie column following complaints

The former Sun editor oversaw the paper’s controversial reporting on the Hillsborough disaster.

Kelvin Mackenzie came under fire owing to the controversial manner in which The Sun reported the Hillsborough disaster during his tenure as editor.
Kelvin Mackenzie came under fire owing to the controversial manner in which The Sun reported the Hillsborough disaster during his tenure as editor.

KELVIN MACKENZIE’S NEW online column for the Daily Telegraph has been shelved after only two days, as the paper’s initial decision to hire him attracted substantial complaints.

Sources inside paper have confirmed that the former Sun editor’s first column, which can be read here, would also be his last.

The piece, which focused on a number of topics including Gordon Brown’s low profile and Elisabeth Murdoch’s role in the creation of Masterchef, attracted in the region of 800 comments, the majority of which were negative.

However, it was MacKenzie’s background, rather than the content of the piece, which prompted criticism so heavy that the newspaper opted to shelve plans for further articles by the controversial former Sun editor.

He previously came under fire in 1989 for the tabloid paper’s infamous ‘The Truth’ headline, which came accompanied by an article that suggested Liverpool fans were to blame for the death of 96 fans during the Hillsborough disaster.

For years, MacKenzie refused to apologise for the manner in which the paper reported the tragedy, and only offered “profound apologies” after the findings of the recent Hillsborough inquiry absolved fans from blame.

His appearance on the Telegraph site consequently prompted a significant number of readers to threaten not to subscribe to the paper’s online edition, causing management to rethink the decision to give MacKenzie a column.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said:

“It beggars belief they would even consider the man.

“The timing with the upcoming anniversary was an absolute disgrace.”

The Telegraph have previously backed controversial writer James Delingpole to continue in his role with the paper, after his disparaging remarks in a piece about fellow journalist Suzanne Moore prompted a campaign for him to be sacked.

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Paul Fennessy

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