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Hull Daily Mail apologises for opinion piece attacking diversity in the UK

The Hull Daily Mail has apologised for running an opinion piece that labelled people who advocate diversity as “enemies of our country”.

The article also said Islam “traditionally doesn’t belong in our land” and that people with ties to India and the Caribbean have a “divided loyalty”.

It was published under the Mail’s First Person section and ran with the header: “Our country must unite if we want to become stronger.”

It prompted a backlash from readers and groups, including activists Stop Funding Hate, when it appeared in print on Thursday last week.

Hull West MP Emma Hardy said in a statement that the article had “caused a lot of anger and outrage with its divisive and hateful rhetoric”.

“We as a community and a country cannot tolerate incitement of hatred against anyone, especially when we are united in our battle with coronavirus,” she added.

An apology appeared in the paper the following day, which said the views published “did not reflect the opinions of this newspaper or its staff”.

“We now realise they caused unnecessary offence to a number of people and communities,” the notice said.

“Furthermore, in light of this unfortunate error, the First Person column has been withdrawn until further notice.”

The Hull Daily Mail and associated website Hull Live are published by Reach.

Hull Live digital editor Jenna Thompson repeated the apology on Twitter and said by way of explanation that an “unedited submission was published when it should not have been”.

She added: “We have been experiencing disruption as we begin working from home to protect the health of our employees and this was not seen by a senior member of staff before printing…

“We have spoken to the staff member involved who is, understandably, devastated. There will be additional staff training and we will learn from this.”

Labour MP Hardy said she hoped the matter could be “put to bed and we can move forward together and united”.

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