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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

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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”.

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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”.