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January 8, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 8:46am

Giles Coren leaves Twitter after claiming Owen Jones followers ‘harangued’ his family at home

By Charlotte Tobitt

Times columnist Giles Coren has left Twitter after claiming online followers of the Guardian’s Owen Jones turned up at his home and “started haranguing” his wife and children.

Coren (pictured) drew ire last week over a jibe about Jones, a columnist and Labour activist, which some have claimed was homophobic, in a piece sharing his predictions for 2020 along with other Times writers.

Coren wrote: “My prediction for next year is Owen Jones getting a peerage in Corbyn’s resignation honours (does he get a go at that?) and becoming a fat old lord getting smashed on madeira in the morning and chasing young researchers with tight bottoms up and down the corridors all afternoon.”

Sharing this paragraph, which remains live on the Times website, Jones wrote on Twitter: “Not exactly subtle homophobia being printed by the Times, is it?”

Coren has since claimed he did not know Jones was gay and said his comments were a “harmless joke”.

Followers of Jones subsequently “piled on”, Coren said, adding that some tweeted at the weekend they had found his address.

“…yesterday morning a group of them went round to my house, while I was at work, and started haranguing my wife and children,” he wrote on Tuesday.

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“And if these people (whom 32 per cent of the country hoped would be in power by now) are going to besiege my wife and children because of a harmless joke, then Twitter has to go.

“From now on, if you want to tell me I’m a racist, sexist, homophobic, incestuous paedophile (which is the gist of their complaint) then you’ll have to do it in the comments section below my articles. Which means buying a Times subscription. Which means everyone’s a winner.”

Jones has since written that he was “accused of orchestrating ‘pile-ons’ for defending myself against a homophobic ‘joke’ of a Times columnist”, saying this demonstrates the way left-wing activists are portrayed as a “disorderly thuggish rabble”.

Jones added that he plans to “drastically change” his relationship with Twitter, calling it an “addictive cesspit”.

Picture: News UK

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