Birmingham says it won't follow Paris in suing Fox News because 'we've all moved on'

The US broadcaster's terror 'expert' Steven Emerson said both cities had 'no-go' zones for non-Muslims

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The Independent Online

It doesn't have the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame or the Champs-Élysées, but it seems the UK's second city has more class than the whole of Paris put together.

Birmingham was, alongside the French capital, named by a Fox News terror "expert" as an example of a place in Europe where there were "no-go" zones in which non-Muslims simply dared not tread.

Steve Emerson's comments were outrageous enough to provoke a reaction from David Cameron himself, who said the pundit must be a "complete idiot".

But while Paris's mayor has now declared that her city will sue Fox News over the alleged damage to its "image" and "honour", Birmingham City Council has pragmatically announced that "we've all moved on".

Councillor James McKay, responsible for social cohesion, equalities and community safety in the city, said: "The comments about Birmingham were a bit bonkers. We said so. Fox News corrected them. We've all moved on. End of story."

Mr Emerson's ill-advised punditry was roundly criticised on social media last week. In an appearance on the US news channel in the wake of the Paris shootings, he said: "There are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don't go in."

The widely-shared clip was met with bemusement by Birmingham residents (around 22 per cent of whom are Muslims, according to 2011 census data) - and resulted in the parody hashtag #FoxNewsFacts.