Kelvin MacKenzie leaves 'The Sun' "by mutual consent"

Columnist Kelvin MacKenzie's contract with The Sun newspaper is "terminated by mutual consent", the paper's publisher reveals.

Kelvin MacKenzie's contract with The Sun newspaper has been "terminated by mutual consent", the tabloid's publisher has announced.

The decision follows criticism over an opinion piece written by MacKenzie in which he compared Everton midfielder Ross Barkley to a gorilla and suggested that men in Liverpool with similar wages to the footballer were drug dealers.

News UK said on Monday that MacKenzie, who edited The Sun between 1981 and 1994 and has written a weekly column since 2015, would not return to work after being suspended in April.

A statement read: "Further to our statement on April 15 that Kelvin MacKenzie's services as a columnist for The Sun were suspended, we can confirm that Mr MacKenzie's column will not return to the Sun and his contract with News Group Newspapers has been terminated by mutual consent."

Liverpool's mayor, Joe Anderson, reported MacKenzie to police for what he said were "racial slurs" and Everton banned Sun journalists from its stadium, with Merseyside police continuing their inquiries into the incident.

Ross Barkley in action during the Premier League game between Everton and Burnley on April 15, 2017
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