Katie Hopkins vows she will not be silenced over the refugee crisis

Hopkins broke her silence on Monday after thousands demanded she apologise for past comments about refugees

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Katie Hopkins has vowed she will not be silenced over the refugee crisis after images highlighting the plight of desperate people fleeing persecution sparked a backlash from thousands.

The acerbic columnist and TV presenter was once again at the centre of furious criticism last week over a comment piece published five months ago that reacted to the deaths of hundreds of refugees by comparing them to cockroaches. 

The dehumanising article was widely condemned by refugee rights groups and compared to pro-genocide propaganda by the United Nations. Hopkins was also questioned by police over allegations of inciting racial hatred in connection with the piece, which included the sentence: "Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad: I still don't care.”



Twitter users began bombarding her with tweets reminding her of that sentence after the #refugeeswelcome campaign was launched alongside a devastating picture of the Syrian child Alyan Kurdi lying dead on the shore of a Turkish beach.

While usually outspoken, Hopkins did not answer her critics or comment directly on the crisis until Monday, when she broke her silence with a tweet criticising Britain’s foreign policy in Syria by comparing it to a box of plasters. 

In a series of tweets on Monday evening, Hopkins warned Britain was thinking emotionally instead of rationally about the biggest refugee crisis to hit Europe since the Second World War. 

“When it comes to refugees, Britain is thinking with its heart not its head,” she warned. “That's like dancing with your elbows."

Thanking the public for emails and letters of support, she promised her views on the crisis and reaction were forthcoming.

She also mocked a Change.org petition calling for her to be swapped for 50,000 Syrian refugees after it was signed by more than 50,000 people, writing: "Petitions are great. One click and you're like, literally, clicking your mouse. Once. That's empowerment right there! Boom."

Harrowing pictures of a police officer cradling Alyan's body on a Turkish beach and other images demonstrating the scale of human suffering and death have galvanised Europe into action.

Thousands of residents in the UK are offering their homes to Syrian refugees and 5,000 people have registered for a Citizens Advice scheme aiming to make Britain a "safe haven" for displaced Syrians by promising a spare bed or advocating on behalf of refugees.