Daily Mail to Katie Hopkins: You're fired!


Bigoted columnist Katie Hopkins, who rose to fame on the third series of the Apprentice, has left the Daily Mail’s online counterpart Mail Online by alleged “mutual consent”. This follows an agreement to pay Jackie Teale, a teacher, “substantial damages” due to an article Hopkins had written that falsely accused Teale of escorting her class to an anti-Donald Trump demonstration in Westminster.

Published on the Mail Online website and Hopkins’ personal Twitter account Tuesday morning, the apology states that Hopkins was in the wrong to falsely accuse Teale of taking her 12-year-old students to the protest. This apology comes one day after news broke that Hopkins had “left” Mail Online after two years as a columnist. The Mail Online has declined to share any additional details on Hopkins’ departure – though one is inclined to assume that the decision was one-sided.

The incendiary column in question as published in February of this year, with Hopkins writing: “Schools are supposed to teach kids HOW to think for themselves, not WHAT to think. So why are so many liberal teachers bullying and brain-washing children with their own intolerant views?” Jackie Teale, in an interview with the Guardian, revealed that she had spoken with Hopkins over Twitter messages before the column was published. Teale had been in attendance at the protest, yes, and had toted a banner – but the banner had not been crafted by her pupils, as Hopkins alleged, and said pupils were not present.

“Hopkins quickly reposted my tweet proclaiming that I was ‘brainwashing’ children,” Teale wrote. Over social media, Hopkins’ supporters were calling for Teale’s resignation and sending links and complaints to the Department for Education pertaining to Teale’s “illegal activities”.

“My Twitter feed went crazy. Setting aside the personal attacks, people were calling for me to resign. I should be sacked. ‘Someone’, they said, would be in contact with me about this. They began circulating links to the Department for Education and encouraged each other to register complaints with them to inform them of my ‘illegal’ activities. “This is when I started to panic. Not because I was worried about the personal repercussions, but because I did not want my actions to have any negative impact on the school where I work and my great colleagues,” Teale went on. She wrote of the dangers of “post-truth” on social media – how “anyone can say anything” and have their word taken as fact.

This is far from the first time Hopkins has taken heat for her ignorant, inflammatory comments. Previously, Hopkins had been fired from her weekly radio show on LBC following a tweet about the Manchester Arena attack that called for a “final solution” to Muslims in the United Kingdom – phrasing that immediately calls Hitler and the Holocaust to mind. Hopkins defended herself by way of claiming that the word usage was a typo, and reposted the tweet with “true” instead of “final”.

Perhaps worse of all, in April 2015, Hopkins wrote in a column that Africans migrating across the Mediterranean were like “cockroaches”. If this was not already shocking enough, she also called for gunboats to stop the migrants mid-voyage. The United Nations said that the column qualified as hate speech, and utilized language reminiscent to that used to defend the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Just last month, Hopkins was under fire for steadfastly insisting that a road accident outside the Natural History Museum was indeed a terrorist attack, as first suspected.

Does being fired from the Mail Online leave Hopkins disempowered? Some, like Guardian columnist Jack Monroe – who has won her own Twitter libel case against Hopkins – say no. This may very well leave Hopkins a martyr – her brand as a “renegade outsider” only strengthened by her firing. Other hatemongering writers, like Tommy Robinson and Milo Yiannopoulus, have found larger audiences through setting up their own channels, now unregulated and unfettered in their opinions. Katie Hopkins may, unfortunately, follow in this tradition.

Ayan Goran