by Joseph Patrick McCormick
14 January 2013
The journalist and free-schools campaigner Toby Young has republished a column by Julie Birchill that was removed earlier today from the Guardian/ Observer website after accusations of transphobia.
In a brief introduction to Birchill’s column, Toby Young wrote on his Daily Telegraph blog: “Julie Burchill has given me permission to reprint the article the Observer has seen fit to unpublish.”
Burchill was roundly condemned on Twitter during Sunday for describing members of the transgender community as “a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs” and “dicks in chicks’ clothing” in a column in the newspaper yesterday.
Today John Mulholland, released a statement, saying: ”We have decided to withdraw from publication the Julie Burchill comment piece ‘Transsexuals should cut it out’. The piece was an attempt to explore contentious issues within what had become a highly-charged debate. The Observer is a paper which prides itself on ventilating difficult debates and airing challenging views.
“On this occasion we got it wrong and in light of the hurt and offence caused I apologise and have made the decision to withdraw the piece. The Observer Readers’ Editor will report on these issues at greater length.”