After two reports to the police for incitement to racial hatred and an open letter from Stephen Hawking’s daughter about the rights of disabled people, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d already read the worst from Katie Hopkins.
But the National Autistic Society has accused The Sun columnist of stooping to “a new low” following comments she made about a nine-year-old girl with autism on Twitter.
Posting as she tuned into Channel 4 documentary Born Naughty?, which followed the therapy of nine-year-old Honey, who had newly been diagnosed with mild autism and Pathological Demand Avoidance, she wrote:
Honey can't complete the autism assessment as she is too busy being a complete twat. But the shit mum assessment is complete #bornnaughtyKatie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) May 14, 2015
She later compared Katie to a farm animal: “Honey is completing a story about three little pigs. She identifies strongly with this animal #bornnaughty”.
“'We are looking at a little girl...' Sorry, I am going to have to stop you there. That girl isn't little #bornnaughty,” she continued.
“The taxpayer is now forking out for play sessions for Honey and a special school. Supplemented by chocolate and red bull #bornnaughty”
“Everything that has been suggested to Honey's parents has been hopeless,” she added, “I would suggest military discipline and a new name#bornnaughty.” She received strong criticism from her followers over the remarks. And an even stronger response from Jane Harris, Director of External Affairs and Social Change at the National Autistic Society.
“It's unacceptable to talk about children in this aggressive way, regardless of whether they have a diagnosed condition like autism or not,” Harris tells The Independent.
“We recognise that writing to shock and offend is what Katie does, and nothing we can say will change that, but this is a new low. As well as being offensive, her comments took people’s attention away from the important issues raised in ‘Born Naughty?’. Most concerning for us was how she made light of the importance of a diagnosis and getting the right support for the 1 in 100 people who are diagnosed with autism. In many areas of the country, parents have to wait for years for an assessment and diagnosis, not knowing how best to support their child. We should be focusing on what we can do to bring waiting times for assessments down and improve the support people get after diagnosis.
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?'
“Despite the judgemental and damaging nature of her tweets, we were encouraged to see people responding by showing they understand the very real challenges faced by the estimated 2.7 million individuals and families affected by autism in the UK.
“If Katie wants to really understand autism, we would like to invite her to come to meet some members of the National Autistic Society and hear about the challenges they face every day.”
Hopkins is yet to respond to the offer.
Her comments come after she was similarly criticised for accusing Ed Miliband of behaving “on the spectrum” during the leader’s debate last month.