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  1. ITV Report

Katie Hopkins defends controversial Welsh schools tour

Credit: ITV News

Media personality and businesswoman Katie Hopkins has told ITV News she wants to encourage debate among youngsters, amid a row over her planned tour of schools in Wales.

The controversial commentator's Stand Strong Tour is earmarked to begin in November, when she will speak in front of 11-16-year-olds in a series of hour-long Q&A sessions.

Described as an 'open debate' which discusses the 'current political / media landscape', subjects on the agenda include Brexit, Trump and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Welsh politicians have taken to social media to argue against the tour, with Education Secretary Kirsty Williams saying Hopkins is "unelected, unpleasant and needs PR and reaction to thrive".

And today David Evans from the National Education Union said: "Katie Hopkins' views on many things are, to say the least, extreme, and not the sort of thing we would expect schools to be putting before their pupils".

No stranger to controversy, Hopkins caused particular outrage earlier this year with a tweet that appeared to reference the term used by the Nazis for the Holocaust.

But today the former Apprentice and Big Brother contestant defended her school tour, telling ITV presenter Andrea Byrne: "I think it's really important that we encourage our young people to open up the debate; to listen to both sides of an argument and then decide their own opinions".

When challenged on some of her past "discriminatory" comments, which include remarks about people's names, hair colour and weight, Hopkins said: "Discrimination is a very strong word. I've given my opinion on many things".

Watch the whole interview here: