ANDREW NEIL has lashed out at left-wing commentator Owen Jones on Twitter, accusing him of trying to “cancel” his BBC career.
Earlier this week, Mr Jones tweeted “cancel culture” is becoming meaningless after naming numerous celebrities are still being paid despite criticism. Cancel culture is a term which has been growing in popularity in recent months, with public figures facing widespread criticism often termed as “being cancelled” across social media.
His comments sparked furious backlash from Mr Neil.
Mr Jones tweeted: “Woody Allen continues to make films.
“Scarlett Johansson is still paid millions to act.
“Laurence Fox’s last TV series was released 2 months ago.
“Jenna Marbels’ YouTube channel remains. Jimmy Kimmel is still paid $15m a year to present.
“‘Cancel culture’ is becoming meaningless.”
Despite claiming cancel culture was now “meaningless”, the Guardian journalist was criticised for previously trying to “cancel” certain people.
Darren Grimes, a prominent Brexit campaigner, tweeted a screenshot of a tweet by Mr Jones where he called for Oxford University to fire the Deputy Director of External Affairs and International Strategy.
Mr Grimes wrote: “Owen Jones saying cancel culture doesn’t exist, having spent years now seeking the cancellation of many careers of those he happens to disagree with, is truly a fine thing.”
BBC’s Politics Live host Mr Neil responded to Mr Griames’ tweet and claimed he had tried but failed to “cancel my BBC career several times”.
Mr Jones then furiously posted a series of tweets hitting back at the BBC host claiming Mr Neil is “hiding behind ‘cancel culture’.
He wrote: “This is a straightforward lie from Andrew Neil.
“Have I robustly criticised him? Yes: for hiring the Holocaust denier David Irving, and for chairing a magazine which publishes racism and praises Nazis.
“I have never, ever called for him to be sacked.”
Mr Jones continued: “I’m sure Andrew Neil didn’t like being criticised for hiring a Holocaust denier, or for chairing a magazine which churns out racism and apology for Nazis.
“But in a democratic society, I have the right to challenge him on that.
“Yet he defends himself by hiding behind ‘cancel culture’.
“This all kicked off after I wrote a column about Andrew Neil in 2018, the point of which was not to ‘cancel’ him, but rather underline the point that the claim the BBC has a left wing bias is ludicrous. (Which remains the case today).”
Since Mr Neil’s accusation, Mr Jones has posted a series of tweets saying Mr Neil is unable to provide any evidence to suggest he tried to cancel his BBC career.
He wrote: “Andrew Neil isn’t producing any evidence that I tried to cancel his BBC career because there isn’t any.”
Mr Jones reiterated previous points about challenging Mr Neil on hiring an alleged Holocaust denier and being the chairman of The Spectator.
Earlier this week, a number of celebrities penned a letter calling for the term cancel culture to be ended.
A letter from 150 public figures, including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood has been published calling for an end to cancel culture stating it creates an “intolerant climate” for free speech.