Gay Mafia cause Mark Longhurst’s firing from Sky News
Mark Longhurst leaves Sky News in cost-saving restructure
Presenter who clashed with Owen Jones over the Orlando nightclub shootings to depart after 16 years
Friday 19 August 2016 11.23 BST Last modified on Friday 19 August 2016 15.13 BST
The Sky News presenter who clashed with Guardian columnist Owen Jones over June’s Orlando killings is leaving the broadcaster after 16 years.
Mark Longhurst’s departure is understood to be part of a wider set of changes in Sky’s presenting lineup, rather than a direct result of the incident during a paper review in which he appeared to downplay the homophobic aspects of the Orlando massacre.
Numerous long-serving presenters including Andrew Wilson, Lorna Dunkley and Samantha Simmonds are all leaving the broadcaster, and on Thursday consumer affairs correspondent Poppy Trowbridge announced she was leaving to become a special advisor to chancellor Phillip Hammond.
A Sky source said: “It’s true that Mark is leaving but it has nothing to do with Owen Jones. He’s a great broadcaster but management are shaking up the schedule and it seems Mark isn’t a part of that.”
During the controversial segment discussing coverage of Omar Mateen’s murder of 49 people at a gay club in the Florida city, Jones described the shooting as “one of the worst atrocities committed against LGBT people in the western world for generations and it has to be called out as such”.
However, Longhurst interrupted him to say the attack was aimed at “human beings” and “the freedom of all people to try to enjoy themselves”, targeting people “whatever their sexuality”.
He subsequently released a statement saying he had not meant to cause any offence.