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Channel 4 newsreader Fatima Manji hits back at Kelvin MacKenzie's 'smears'

Fatima Manji presenting Channel 4 News. Credit: Channel 4 News / ITN

Channel 4 News presenter Fatima Manji has hit back at Sun columnist Kelvin Mackenzie, saying his 'smears' won't stop her from doing her job.

The newspaper's former editor wrote he "could hardly believe (his) eyes" when he saw "a young lady wearing a hijab" presenting from London after lead presenter Jon Snow had conducted an interview in Nice about the lorry attack which killed more than 80 people.

Writing in the the Liverpool Echo, Ms Manji said she is "not expecting an apology from him anytime soon", as she lambasted Mackenzie's article for being "one wild screed in a long-running and widespread campaign to intimidate Muslims out of public life".

Kelvin MacKenzie's column appeared in The Sun's print edition and online. Credit: thesun.co.uk

"Kelvin MacKenzie has attempted to smear 1.6 billion Muslims in suggesting they are inherently violent," she said.

"He has attempted to smear half of them further by suggesting they are helpless slaves. And he has attempted to smear me by suggesting I would sympathise with a terrorist.

"In response to this, I have received kind messages from friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even those I have never met, expressing solidarity and anger at his words.

Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie's comments in his latest column were condemned as 'disgusting' and 'vile' by Twitter users. Credit: PA

"The truth is I always pride myself on journalistic integrity regardless of who I’m interviewing or what story I’m covering.

"That is my mission at Channel 4 News. I will not be deterred in this mission by the efforts of those who find the presence of Muslims in British cultural life offensive.

"The Truth? I confess. I p***** on Kelvin MacKenzie’s apparent ambitions to force anyone who looks a little different off our screens, and I’ll keep doing it."