Katie Hopkins and the editor of The Sun, David Dinsmore, have been reported to the Metropolitan police for incitement to racial hatred.
It follows the publication of a column by Hopkins in the tabloid on 17 April, in which she described migrants desperate to reach Britain following humanitarian disasters in their own countries as “cockroaches” and suggested the government deploy “gunships” to stop them landing on shore.
The complaint was made by the Society of Black Lawyers directly to the Metropolitan Police Commissioners Office, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, at 4.05pm on 20 April.
Dear Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe,
I hope this email finds you well. You will recall that I was an independent member of the Metropolitan Police Authority (2000 to 2008) and Vice Chair for a period of two years during part of your earlier career at the MPS.
As former Chair of the MPS Hate Crime Forum we did on occasions report incidents of incitement to racial hatred directly to the Commissioners Office for urgent action. More recently as SBL we have done so with anti-Semitic and/or racist comments in the football arena.
The recent comments by the Sun journalist Katie Hopkins, authorised for publication by her Editor and senior staff, are sadly some of the most offensive, xenophobic and racist comments I have read in a British newspaper for some years. These comments comparing the African migrants fleeing Libya to “cockroaches” , almost certainly all “trafficked” persons facing intimidation, violence and extortion at the point of departure represent some of the most vulnerable people in international law at the present time. Many will have legitimate claims for asylum under the 1951 Geneva Convention.
The use of this term employs a word used with devastating results to describe the Tutsi minority and Hutu moderates during the 1994 Rwanda genocide when they were referred to by those responsible for the genocide as “cockroaches”. This fact is well known to journalists and is a matter of historical record proved by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in several judgments.
The Society of Black Lawyers (SBL) therefore requests that this matter is investigated as a matter of urgency under the Public Order Act 1986. I am aware that this section requires some intention but given the scale of the tragedy currently unfolding, the likelihood some some of these migrants may already be in the UK having fled during previous months or likely to land here in due course these comments can amount to incitement to racial hatred.
We are in the process of writing formally to the International Criminal Court to petition for an investigation into these comments under the provisions of incitement to commit crimes against humanity.
Given the huge circulation of these comments in the Sun and in the media generally, the propensity for racial violence against people of African descent in the UK is obvious. We request that these matters be investigated as a matter of urgency and the case file be passed to the CPS for a decision to be made as to the merits of a prosecution.
We will submit a more detailed letter in the course of this evening but would request that your office makes a public statement about the need to avoid such comments being made by any in the media whilst this matter is the subject of a criminal investigation.
Our complaint is against the journalist herself, the Editor of the Sun newspaper and other editorial staff involved in the publication of this commentary. We would request that you obtain a transcript of her interview that we understand was conducted on LBC radio on Sunday morning, 19th April 2015.
The journalist concerned sought to justify her comments in that radio interview so may provide evidence of her state of mind.
D. Peter Herbert O.B.E.
Chair Society of Black Lawyers
Hopkins declined to comment on the allegations.
A spokesperson for the newspaper said: “The Sun has not received any communication from either the Met or the ICC.”
The complaint follows a similar report made about Hopkins to Greater Manchester Police by Labour MP Simon Danczuk in March.
Katie Hopkins' most offensive moments
Katie Hopkins' most offensive moments
1/16 Katie Hopkins on 'plus size'
'To call yourself 'plus-size' is just a euphemism for being fat. Life is much easier when you're thinner. Big is not beautiful, of course a job comes down to how you look.'
2/16 Katie Hopkins on naming children
‘I think you can tell a great deal from a name. For me, there are certain names that I hear and I think ‘Urgh’. For me, a name is a shortcut of finding out what class that child comes from and makes me ask, ‘Do I want my children to play with them?’ There’s a whole set of things that go with children like that and that’s why I don’t like those sorts of children. ‘Hi, this is my daughter Charmaine’. I hear: ‘Hi, I am thick and ignorant.’’
3/16 Katie Hopkins on gender equality
'Women don't want equal treatment, they couldn't handle it if they got it. It's a tough world out there. What a lot of women are actually looking for is special treatment. What women need to realise is that they have to toughen up.'
4/16 Katie Hopkins on immigration
'I've always said if you go into a school playground and shout Mohammad, you'll probably get 100 children running towards you!"
5/16 Katie Hopkins to Benefits Street's White Dee
'Do you not feel like the patron saint of druggies and dropouts?'
6/16 Katie Hopkins on tattoos
'Are tattoos just a badge for the stupid? For me, and for lots of people like me, when you see tatoos you think of someone who is just looking for attention, who hasn't managed to find a way in their life through conventional means and who is just shouting 'I want attention! I want to be looked at!'
7/16 Katie Hopkins on addiction
‘I don’t believe what Russell Brand says about addiction. I just don’t buy it. Gazza likes drinking, let him crack on. He is enjoying himself.’
8/16 Katie Hopkins on The X Factor
'The X Factor 2013 has ended in a painful showdown between a fat mum in a jumpsuit (Sam Bailey) and a small boy in whatever his mum laid out for him on his bed (Nicholas McDonald)'
9/16 Katie Hopkins on the Egyptian uprising
'The difference between most mothers and me is that I didn’t sit around drinking coffee at baby group for 12 months after the birth of my baby. No, in three weeks I was back in my suit, back at my desk earning profit for my business and I don’t see why other women shouldn’t do the same.'
10/16 Katie Hopkins on maternity leave
'Egyptian uprising continues to look like Bonfire Night. Protest fireworks. Right up there with angry cup cakes.'
11/16 Katie Hopkins on 'gingerism'
'Ginger babies. Like a baby. Just so much harder to love. A ginger person with tattoos called Jayden? The triumvirate of horror!'
12/16 Katie Hopkins on affairs
'I lied to get someone else's husband because I wanted him. I give myself 8 out of 10 for ruthlessness for that one.'
13/16 Katie Hopkins on the elderly
‘Personally I hate mobility scooters. I find their owners intolerable. Ran past a mobility scooter going up hill. Made me giggle. I need to grow up and stop being an arse.’
14/16 Katie Hopkins after the Glasgow helicopter crash
'Life expectancy in Scotland is 59.5. Goodness me. That lot will do anything to avoid working until retirement.'
15/16 Katie Hopkins on Ramadan
'Channel 4 broadcasts Islamic calls to prayer for Ramadan. A 30 day reminder that minority rules in the UK. Any more PC, it'd be a bloody laptop.'
16/16 Katie Hopkins on self-harming
'I am advised by the Twitterati to 'cut myself'. I grazed myself on my house gate yesterday. Will that suffice?'
The columnist appeared to equate men of Pakistani origin to child abusers in a series of posts on Twitter.
Her comments followed a lengthy argument with Danczuk on the social network about his decision to mark National Pakistan Day on 23 March in his constituency of Rochdale by raising the Pakistani flag for 30 minutes.
Hopkins claimed it was wrong to raise the flag in the constituency where, in 2012, nine men were jailed for their part in a paedophile ring. Eight of the men were of Pakistani origin.