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Top black lawyer charges columnist with racism over migrant ‘cockroach’ slur

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Controversial Sun newspaper hack Katie Hopkins and her editor are in the line of fire as Society of Black Lawyers makes incitement to racial hatred complaint to police

katiehopkins

A leading ethnic minority lawyer has reported firebrand Sun newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins to the police for allegedly inciting racial hatred.

The move by Society of Black Lawyers head, barrister Peter Herbert, came in response to a comment article earlier this week (pictured below) in which Hopkins referred to migrants crossing the Mediterranean for southern Europe as “cockroaches”.

rescueboats

According to an article in The Independent newspaper, Herbert has also cited the Sun’s editor, David Dinsmore, in his letter to London’s Metropolitan Police.

In his complaint (see below) — published in fully by the Indy — Herbert reminds Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe that for eight years until 2008 he was an independent member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Herbert’s complaint states:

“The recent comments by the Sun journalist Katie Hopkins, authorised for publication by her editor and senior staff, are sadly some of the most offensive, xenophobic and racist comments I have read in a British newspaper for some years.

“These comments comparing the African migrants fleeing Libya to ‘cockroaches’, almost certainly all ‘trafficked’ persons facing intimidation, violence and extortion at the point of departure represent some of the most vulnerable people in international law at the present time. Many will have legitimate claims for asylum under the 1951 Geneva Convention.”

The barrister is himself no stranger to controversy. Three years ago he stoked flames around top-tier football when he called for Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg to be suspended over alleged racist comments made to Chelsea’s Nigerian star John Obi Mikel. Chelsea later dropped the claim.

But Herbert wasn’t finished with the sport. Later that year he labelled the historically Jewish supporters of Tottenham Hotspur as “casual racists” for their fondness for the term “Yid Army”.

According to The Independent, Hopkins — who sprang to fame in 2007 as a contestant on the BBC reality programme The Apprentice — declined to comment on the complaint. In addition to the move by the Society of Black Lawyers, Hopkins is also facing an online petition — which has gathered some 200,000 signatures — for her to be sacked from the paper.

Meanwhile, The Sun released a statement saying it had “not received any communication from either the Met or the ICC”.

13 Comments

Solicitor

I hardly care what Hopkins says, but I do care that she is paid to say it.
Don’t buy the Sun, don’t click on it’s online site. Avoid any TV programme on which she is invited to spout. Apart from bringing great peace of mind, those who are making it worth her while will stop if she isn’t attracting business for them.

(26)(4)

Anonymous

Hopkins is odious. Her views are repellent. The Sun is abhorrent.

But from what I have read above, I struggle to see how she said anything racist.

I’m prepared to be corrected, but she appears to be referring to the migrants as ‘cockroaches’ in general, not by reason of their race or status as migrants. Nor am I aware of ‘cockroach’ being a racially pejorative term.

This is Hopkins’ same old bile, but it is not racist. Still, I rather wish she could be deprived of the oxygen of publicity, swiftly.

(20)(6)

The Real Niteowl

As abhorrent as her statement might seem to be (actually, cockroaches are resilient and strong, and great at survival to be fair), your society has a real issue with free thought and speech and seems intent on gaoling anyone it can who wants to speak their mind.

(16)(8)

Anonymous

Odd reference to a Chinese badminton player? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Ling

(4)(4)

Anonymous Corrected

Still, I rather wish she could be deprived of ____ oxygen __________

FYP Anonymous

(2)(2)

tom

this piece of trash will say anything to be famous. les wait and see her pre sentence report will be included. she suffering to forms of mental disorders one so severe attention deficit hyperactive disorder and epilepsy

(1)(7)

Anonymous

finally facing the music. if convicted crime against humanity brainless creature will ended up 50 years

(0)(5)

Sir Viv

“Good listener there have been reports that some of you have not joined your brothers in the fight to squish the cockroaches that plague or country.” Interhamwe Radio, Rwanda, 1994.

Last time I heard people referred to a cockroaches.

Certainly not suggesting that there are any parallels but an unfortunate choice of words.

(7)(5)

Uncle Solicitor

I believe that the fine citizens of the former Colonies in Cathay regularly engage in like behavior to describe their Mainland Cousins from Canton. I believe Sire, that if you use Google, you will see the articles and videos by typing “hong kong citizens call mainlanders cockroaches”.

It is par for the course for these people.

(3)(3)

Not Amused

Oh good. Another polarized dispute in which both sides are odious.

Instead of being forced to choose between the vile and childish Hopkins and the victim complex self publicist, could I instead suggest a third way? Where all decent and normal people simply insist that not a penny of tax payers’ money is wasted on this.

(13)(2)

Anonymous

On prosecuting Hopkins, or on saving migrants?

(0)(0)

Wrong Kong

Uncle Solicitor,

Hong Kong inhabitants also refer to the ethnically european as Gweilos literally ‘ghost men’ or more figuratively ‘foreign devils’. This is not a term employed with any particular bile. likewise, one of more colourful ways some elderly street traders greet each other is with the rather unfortunate “diu lay lo mo cho hai!” which I will leave you all to google. It is all a matter of context is it not?

As abhorrent as all of this may be, none of it appears to insight racial hatred. In the case of Ms. Hopkins It is an expression of a very unfortunate individual’s free speech by an equally unfortunate sensationalist paper.

Both of them are winning the race to the bottom – may they remain there. We do not need publicity seeking lawyers making complaints which are not properly arguable. It is below the profession and implies Ms Hopkins may be important enough to even manage breaking a law.

(1)(0)

Meh

Who?

(0)(0)

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