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Kelvin MacKenzie's Plea For Complaints Over Fatima Manji On Channel 4 News Rejected By Ofcom

Just 17 people heeded his appeal.

22/08/2016 13:04
Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
Kelvin MacKenzie had appealed for complaints about Manji's appearance on Channel 4 News

Ofcom has dismissed a small number of complaints that claimed it was “inappropriate” for journalist Channel 4 Fatima Manji to front coverage of the Nice terror attack. 

The Huffington Post UK also understands that former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie did not follow through on his own threat to complain bout Manji wearing a hijab on-air.

Ofcom ruled it was an “editorial matter” for Channel 4 News to decide which presenters it used in its bulletins.

It was responding to complaints that Manji should not have reported on the attack in France that left 84 dead when a truck ploughed into crowds of people on Bastille Day.

Channel 4
Manji herself branded's MacKenzie's columns 'ill-informed, racist and Islamophobic'

Among the protestors was MacKenzie, who wrote a series of columns claiming Channel 4 had breached impartiality rules.

On July 25 he wrote: “I will be looking at making a formal complaint to Ofcom under the section of the broadcasting code which deals with impartiality.

“Since the question of religious motivation was central to the coverage of the Nice attack, I would ask whether it is appropriate for a newsreader to wear religious attire that could undermine the viewers’ perception of impartiality.”

The Sun
The column, seen under the headline 'Hijab is "too big" for Beeb

But Ofcom revealed today it would not be pursuing an investigation into Channel 4 for Manji’s presenting nor her wearing of a headscarf.

A spokesperson for the regulator said: “We received a small number of complaints that it was inappropriate for a presenter wearing a hijab to present a report on the attack in Nice. We won’t be taking the matter forward for investigation. 

“The selection of a presenter is an editorial matter for the broadcaster, and the way in which the presenter chose to dress in this case did not raise any issues under our rules.”

Only 17 complaints were submitted about Manji to Ofcom. Over 1,900 were lodged with press watchdog Ipso about MacKenzie’s original column

Manji has previously responded to MacKenzie’s outrage, accusing him of being “ill-informed, racist and Islmophobic”.

She also vowed “not to be deterred in this mission by the efforts of those who find the presence of Muslims in British cultural life offensive”.

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