UK

Katie Hopkins Petition Passes 165,000 Signatures After Migrant Boat Column In The Sun

20/04/2015 09:46 BST | Updated 20/04/2015 21:59 BST

UPDATE:

A petition calling for Katie Hopkins to be sacked as a columnist for The Sun looks set to reach its target of 200,000 signatures.

As of Monday morning 165,000 people had added their names to the Change.org document, which urges the tabloid to terminate her contract.

It comes after Hopkins wrote a piece entitled ‘Rescue Boats? I’d use gunships to stop migrants’ in which she described migrants as “cockroaches” and insisted boats making their way from Africa should be turned back with force.

katie hopkins

Katie Hopkins has defended her controversial column

Among those who signed the piece were Stefanja Casha, who wrote: "Dehumanising other people, such as calling them cockroaches, is the first step towards justifying atrocities, like slavery, genocide, the Holocaust etc... We need to keep in mind these people are in terrible situations and need our help not condemnation for trying to save themselves and their families. In their shoes we would likely do the same."

Clive Matthews added: "The Sun newspaper has failed it's readership. My workmates have all agreed to boycott it until this vile anti worker woman is gone."

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Hopkins stood by the piece even after it emerged up to 900 migrants are feared dead after a boat trying to reach Italy capsized in the Mediterranean.

As emergency services mounted a major search and rescue operation north of Libya after the incident, Hopkins went on LBC Radio on Sunday to defend her piece.

She said: "Why do we take one everyone else's problems? We can't afford to take on these problems. We need to push these boats back.

"And we should make a huge bonfire from these boats so they can't be used again. If we rescue boats we are perpetuating the problem."

Here's a reminder of what was in Hopkins' original post...

NO, I don’t care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad.

I still don’t care.

Also:

Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit “Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia circa 1984”, but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb. They are survivors.

And finally:

It’s time to get Australian. Bring on the gunships, force migrants back to their shores and burn the boats.

The capsizing comes amid a wave of migrants trying to leave Libya for Italian shores. They seek to take advantage of calmer seas and warm weather to make the dangerous crossing on smugglers' boats.

If anywhere close to 900 people are confirmed to have died, this would be the deadliest toll from a single capsizing. Just last week, 400 people were presumed drowned when another boat capsized.

Writing for The Huffington Post UK last week as part of the Beyond The Ballot series, Hopkins defended her right to speak freely on Twitter without being reported to the police.

Life is not a beauty pageant and you cannot demand the beauty pageant answer. I don't want to save the world or negotiate world peace. And I look crap in swim wear. Deal with it.

I just want to continue to have my basic human right to say what I think on Twitter.

If you disagree and your best comeback is that you are going to rape me with a machete - then that is indicative of your lack of intelligence.

But be reassured. I won't be reporting you to the police. I am holding on to the belief they have better things to do. I suspect you still live at home with your mum and floss your teeth with your toe nails.

If you can't handle the debate, stay away from Twitter. If you want to scream "Reported!", be sure to copy @metpoliceuk. You never know, it might make you feel powerful.

Katie Hopkins' Most Controversial Quotes

Katie Hopkins' Most Controversial Quotes