An online petition calling for the dismissal of Richard Littlejohn from the Daily Mail has garnered more than 100,000 names and gone viral on Twitter.
Mr Littlejohn is under intense scrutiny following news that a transgender schoolteacher named Lucy Meadows, whom he had criticised in a December column (now wiped from the Daily Mail website but available here), died recently. The death is being reported as a suicide.
In the piece Mr Littlejohn said, “He’s not only in the wrong body…He’s in the wrong job.” Mr Littlejohn continued that Ms Meadows was “selfish” for choosing to return to teach at St Mary Magdalen’s School, the school where she had taught previously as a man by the name of Nathan Upton. A local newspaper, the Accrington Observer, initially reported that the school had received complaints from students' parents regarding the return of Ms Meadows.
There is no evidence that Ms Meadows’ death and the column are in any way connected, but a second petition for Change.org says: "Fire Richard Littlejohn for victimizing Lucy Meadows, leading to her possible suicide". As of the writing of this article, this petition has 29,456 supporters.
A Daily Mail spokesperson, speaking to The Huffington Post UK, blamed the “orchestrated twitterstorm” on “individuals – including former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell – with agendas to pursue."
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