Director of Leeds-based magazine resigns over anti-Semitic tweets

The director of a Leeds-based magazine has resigned today after the publication's Twitter account sent out an anti-Semitic tweet.
The director of a Leeds-based magazine has resigned today after the publication's Twitter account sent out an anti-Semitic tweet.
0
Have your say

The director of a Leeds-based magazine has resigned today after the publication's Twitter account sent out an anti-Semitic tweet.

Neil Saville, director of Esteem Magazine, which claims to be the 'biggest free lifestyle magazine in the UK', announced his resignation in a statement on the magazine's website today, saying: "Due to all the upset caused, I have resigned as a director."

- > Police release pictures and video of man after 12-year-old girl abducted in Leeds

The offensive tweet was sent on April 20 in reply to writer Sara Gibbs who was tweeting about a backlash to a Labour Party Pesach greeting featuring a drawing of a loaf of bread.

Miss Gibbs said: "It’s been brought to my attention that there are actual people out there having a 'gotcha' discussion about how Jews are lying about not eating bread at Passover because we 'eat flatbread' - there is absolutely nothing about our beliefs or customs they won’t rewrite is there?"

In response the official social media account for Esteem tweeted: "Why oh why throughout history do Jewish people get verbally and physically attacked?

"Maybe if it's happened for millennia Jewish people should look on their own doorstep."

The publication initially denied any wrongdoing saying: "We do not condone any form of racism - you have taken this out of context."

However, the site later claimed it had been hacked and had reported the tweets to Twitter.

They account still blocked Miss Gibbs on Twitter and did not apologise.

Today in a statement Mr Saville said that he had reported the hacking 'as soon as I discovered what had happened.'

He continued: "I cannot apologise enough for any distress caused and indeed the inflammatory and totally disrespectful words used.

"I again offer regret and apologies to every single person affected by the post."

- > Man describes moment he rushed to help man who fell 50ft from Cow and Calf in Ilkley

He added that both he and the publication would like to 'build bridges' with the Jewish community and would be offering their services free of charge for the next year to any Jewish organisation that would like to publicise upcoming events.

The statement closed: "I deeply and sincerely hope people will find it in their hearts to accept this apology from both myself and Esteem Publications for the unacceptable and deplorable post.

"Due to all the upset caused, I have resigned as a director."

Several prominent figures were critical of the events.

Actor and director David Schneider said: "“In this week’s Esteem Magazine: Jews to blame for antisemitism”. Seriously? This is what you think?"

While Countdown's Rachel Riley asked them: "What on earth were you thinking?!"

Actress Tracy Ann Oberman was also blocked after she criticised the account.

Esteem Magazine is a business to business lifestyle publication with a circulation of 45,000 copies every quarter.

Their Twitter account is currently inactive and is expected to be reactivated on May 22 following an investigation into the alleged hacking.