Editor admits columnist’s rant went too far


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A BRITISH national newspaper editor has admitted that one of his columnists went too far in an article published on Monday attacking the Portuguese police and the country’s ambassador to the UK.

Richard Wallace, editor of the Daily Mirror, said his newspaper, one of the UK’s top-selling national tabloids, always aims to get it right but that the columnist had “over-stepped the mark in this instance”.

His comment was in response to an email of complaint sent to the Mirror after the article was published in the paper and online.

The columnist, Tony Parsons, who is renowned and paid for his controversial views, said in the piece entitled Oh, Up yours, Senor: “Portugal’s ambassador to Britain, Senor Antonio Santana Carlos, says that the Madeleine McCann case has seriously damaged relations between the two countries. Well, whose fault is that?

“It is the fault of the spectacularly stupid, cruel Portuguese police. I have never much cared for the convention of calling cops “pigs” or “filth”, but I am happy to make an exception.”

He went on to say that “they (the police) have tried to cover their humiliation at coming nowhere close to finding that stolen child by fitting up her parents”.

Sardine muncher

After attacking the Portuguese media for printing “any piece of poisonous trash spoon-fed to them by ‘police sources’” and “treating the abduction of a small child as light entertainment” he finished with another attack on the ambassador:

“I would respectfully suggest that in future, if you can’t say something constructive about the disappearance of little Madeleine, then you just keep your stupid, sardine-munching mouth shut.”

In his email response to the complaint about the article, Richard Wallace said: “Tony Parsons is one of many voices on the Daily Mirror – admittedly more centre right than centre left – and is very strident in his opinions.  “This particular issue has raised everyone’s hackles for all sorts of different reasons – hence the controversy that surrounds a range of views and the ongoing blame game as far as the investigation is concerned.

“If you felt his words were too strong then I do sincerely apologise.”

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