The Mail on Sunday’s Glen Owen has taken “offence” to a joke about Scottish Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon just one week after Breitbart London raised questions over whether the paper had exchanged favours with Downing Street in a Nazi smear attack on the Leave campaign.
Writing for the “Black Dog” diary column in the paper, Mr. Owen takes umbrage with a joke made during this week’s ITV debate between EU referendum campaigners including Boris Johnson (Leave), Nicola Sturgeon (Remain) and others.
Mr. Owen writes: “Nicola Sturgeon, left, was the victim of an appalling Twitter insult by Nigel Farage’s former aide and flatmate Raheem Kassam after she clashed with Farage’s fellow anti-EU campaigner Boris Johnson in the TV debate. Kassam tweeted: ‘Can someone tape Nicola Sturgeon’s mouth shut? And her legs, so she can’t reproduce.’”
Breitbart London’s Editor in Chief tweeted in jest during the show: “Can someone just like… tape Nicola Sturgeon’s mouth shut? And her legs, so she can’t reproduce. Thanks” which appears to have triggered Mr. Owen, who wrote to Kassam on Thursday explaining: “FYI – doing a diary item on this tweet”.
Responding over e-mail, Kassam said: “Excellent. You should also point out this one and this one, and you can have the following comment from me.. ‘Sovereignty isn’t all we’ve lost since becoming EU members. We appear to have lost our traditional British sense of punchy humour… unless some leftist comedian is calling for Farage to be attacked. Then it’s fine, right?'”
But Mr. Owen chose not to include Kassam’s response in his column, instead adding the comment: “[Nigel] Farage should remember Aesop’s Fables: ‘A man is known by the company…’”
In May last year, the Mail similarly attacked Mr. Farage himself for a “bad taste joke”. Gay journalist John Stevens, who claims to have studied Mr. Farage’s sweat patterns, attempted to cause furore over a joke made at a best man speech in 2001.
Kassam drew attention on Twitter to how the Mail is failing to report on referendum stitch-up activities and establishment cheating, but will report on a former UKIP staffer’s tweets.
Upon announcing Mr. Owen’s attempted attack, the original tweet attracted thousands of more views:
Numerous tweeters even revealed that they would no longer be purchasing the Mail on Sunday after the attack:
Just stopped order for Mail on Sunday. Cannot believe editorial nonsense-who's in charge?Surprised Peter Hitchens still there
— maddie (@MadyWaterer) June 10, 2016
— Lulu (@Luluvine) June 10, 2016
This week’s Mail on Sunday homepage features a front page splash of the Archbishop of Canterbury unsurprising declaring for the Remain campaign.