The broadcaster and columnist Hartley-Brewer made the remark while appearing on the BBC News Channel’s 'The Papers' on Monday night, following England’s elimination from the European Championships at the hands of Iceland.
“At the end of the day, Iceland played better than us,” she said as the programme drew to an end. “It’s not just that they score more goals, they played better, they were really exciting and fun to watch.
“Our lot are a bunch of overpaid nonces, they need to get their act together,” she added, while laughing.
“They should spend less time on doing their hair and spend a bit more time playing some football and scoring some goals.”
Clive Myrie, the programme’s presenter, sarcastically repeated the comment, saying: “From our sports correspondent there, Julia Hartley-Brewer, 'overpaid nonces'.”
The word ‘nonce’ is a slang term for a person who has been convicted of a sexual offence, typically against a minor.
Hartley-Brewer has since apologised and clarified that she meant to use the word 'ponces', a derogatory term for a group of effeminate men.
Hartley-Brewer was at the centre of controversy earlier this month after appearing on Sky News’ newspaper preview programme with fellow columnist Owen Jones to discuss the mass shooting of LGBT people in Orlando.
Jones walked off the programme live on air after clashing with Hartley-Brewer and presenter Mark Longhurst over the motivations behind the attacks.
Although Longhurst subsequently expressed ‘regret’ over the incident, Hartley-Brewer refused to apologise and claimed Jones had "more in common with Isis than he thinks."
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