Channel 4's Fatima Manji makes official complaint over Kelvin MacKenzie column

Channel 4 News presenter Fatima Manji has made an official complaint over Sun columnist Kelvin Mackenzie's column about her.

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.

The column was widely criticised, with Channel 4 describing it as "offensive, completely unacceptable, and arguably tantamount to inciting religious and even racial hatred".

Writing in the Sun today, Mr MacKenzie defended his "reasonable" inquiry.

Ms Manji and ITN CEO John Hardie have now both made official complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso). ITN produces Channel 4 News.

Channel 4 News editor Ben De Pear said the channel would not "simply stand by when an employee is subject to an act of religious discrimination".

"ITN believes the article was in breach of a number of provisions of the Editor's Code, in particular discrimination, harassment by intimidation and inaccuracy," Mr De Pear said.

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

"ITN accepts and understands that our reporters and presenters are in the public eye and can expect criticism and comment from many quarters, including newspaper columnists.

"What we cannot accept is an employee being singled out on the basis of her religion."

In his latest column, Mr MacKenzie said his question was a "simple" one.

He wrote: "A reasonable inquiry you would have thought with the sensitivities that currently exist in this nation and the rest of Europe. Then the Twerperati got involved and it became a national debate with a record number of complaints to the press regulator Ipso."

His column on Monday sparked more than 1,700 complaints to Ipso and drew scorn from MPs in the House of Commons.