Columnist and TV personality Katie Hopkins has been questioned by police over allegations she incited racial hatred with an article in which she compared asylum seekers to “cockroaches”.
The controversial columnist was criticised over the column in The Sun, in which she said she would use “gunships” to stop the boats which have been crossing the Mediterranean, carrying hundreds of migrants at a time.
Hopkins is alleged to have incited hatred by describing the migrants as “feral” and “spreading like the norovirus”.
She also wrote that some British towns are “festering sores, plagued by swarms of migrants and asylum seekers, shelling out benefits like Monopoly money.”
The Telegraph reports that Peter Herbert, Chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, reported Hopkins’ piece to the police, saying it contained “some of the most offensive, xenophobic and racist comments I have read in a British newspaper for some years”.
Even the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the piece, comparing Hopkins’ comments to pre-genocide propaganda.
Scotland Yard say they have now put the “Special Enquiry Team of the Homicide and Major Crime Command” on the case.
Hopkins, who is famously outspoken, has refused to apologise outright, but she did say last month: “There’s some things about that column, there are some words which in hindsight you’d probably look to pull out of there.
“But I think overall my message isn’t about the idea that we want to see migrants and people suffering, it’s an idea that we need to find solutions to problems.”
A spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said: “The Metropolitan Police Service received allegations of incitement of racial hatred following an article published on 17th April.
“The Special Enquiry Team of the Homicide and Major Crime Command are investigating.
“On Thursday, 30 July, a 40-year-old woman attended a central London police station by appointment and was interviewed under caution. She was not arrested.”
Hopkins’ new TV show If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World starts tonight in the UK on satellite channel TLC. It is billed as a “no-holds-barred” debate of the issues that get Britain talking in which Hopkins and her guests share their rules to make life better. At the end of each episode the studio audience will vote on whether she has been “talking sense or spouting rubbish.”