Muslim family receive £150,000 compensation following Katie Hopkins extremist slur in the Daily Mail
In December 2015 the Daily Mail published an article written by the controversial columnist Katie Hopkins entitled “Just because Britain’s border security is a Mickey Mouse operation you can’t blame America for not letting this lot travel to Disneyland – I wouldn’t either.”
The story related to a decision by the US authorities (for reasons which remain unknown) to refuse to allow the Mahmood family, a Muslim family from Walthamstow in East London, to board a flight to the USA where they had planned to visit Disneyland.
The article made various serious allegations, including suggesting that the two members of the family were extremists, that the family did not really intend to visit Disneyland, and that the US authorities were right to refuse them entry into the country. Another similar article was published shortly afterwards.
The allegations were completely false, which both the Daily Mail and Ms Hopkins have now accepted. In its apology published on 19 December 2016, the Daily Mail stated: “we are happy to make clear that Tariq Mahmood and Zahid Mahmood are not extremists, nor do they have links to Al Qaeda. They were travelling to the USA with their families to see one of their brothers for a holiday in California and they had indeed planned to visit Disneyland as part of the trip.”
The Daily Mail and Ms Hopkins also apologised for the distress and embarrassment caused by the articles and agreed to pay substantial damages, believed to be £150,000, in addition to their legal costs. Ms Hopkins also apologised via Twitter to her 650,000 followers.
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