Andrew Neil has been mocked for his tweets (Picture: Rex)
Andrew Neil has been mocked on social media after claiming that the term ‘gammon’ is racist.
The former BBC journalist, who is set to launch the new channel GB News in the coming weeks, blocked a man on Twitter after he called him a ‘gammon’.
While Neil later claimed he was being sarcastic, it didn’t stop people rinsing him for claiming that being called a gammon was an ‘attack on his race’.
‘Gammon’ refers to the flushed skin colour of a white person, and gained popularity as a term used to describe right-wing voters and those who voted Leave in the Brexit referendum.
After being called a ‘gammon’ on Twitter, Neil tweeted: ‘Racist. So blocked.’
When one person replied: ‘Oh mate. Gammon is a state of mind’, the 71-year-old wrote: ‘It refers to colour. Ipso facto racist.’
Neil was questioned whether he thought gammon was a race, and he tweeted: ‘Colour = race. Educate yourself and join 2021.
‘I have chosen to take his use of gammon as an attack on my race, as the law now allows me to do. It’s a hate crime. So he’s a racist.’
When he was called out for his comments, Neil suggested that he was being sarcastic, calling his critics ‘humourless’.
Nevertheless, he also retweeted a post that read: ‘The word isn’t racist in itself but the fact that it’s used pejoratively solely and only against white people means that it’s use is racist so the person wielding it to cause offence must be racist too.’
The former Sunday Times editor was mocked on social media over his tweets, but others suggested that Neil didn’t really think that gammon was a race and accused him of trying to ‘drum up attention’ for GB News.
Neil left the BBC after 25 years last year and it was then announced that he would be launching the UK’s first new TV news channel in 30 years with GB News.
The channel has yet to launch, but BBC’s Simon McCoy, Sky’s Colin Brazier, former ITN presenter Alistair Stewart and Kirsty Gallagher are among the names to have signed up.
Neil himself is chairman of the channel and will host a primetime evening programme.
Some have criticised the channel, prior to its launch, for being too ‘right-leaning’ when it comes to its political stance and reports claim that GB News will take on a similar style to Fox News over in the US.
GB News, however, has promised to deliver ‘impartial journalism’, with the channel’s director John McAndrew – who has previously worked for BBC, Sky News, NBC and ITN – tweeting that GB News will be ‘free, fair and impartial’ as well as ‘Ofcom regulated’.
Neil said of the launch: ‘GB News is the most exciting thing to happen in British television news for more than 20 years. We will champion robust, balanced debate and a range of perspectives on the issues that affect everyone in the UK, not just those living in the London area.’Credit: Original article published here.