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Mehdi Hasan: Mail only published my column application letter because Question Time clip went viral

By Darren Boyle

Huffington Post columnist Medhi Hasan believes the Daily Mail leaked details of an email he sent looking for a column with the paper because his Question Time tirade against the title went viral.

More than 450,000 people have viewed the video clip where Hasan questions whether it is the Daily Mail itself that hates Britain.

On Friday, the Guido Fawkes blog carried a letter Hasan sent to the Daily Mail in 2010 pitching for a column while he was still working for the New Statesman.

In his letter to Paul Dacre, Hasan claimed: “Although I am on the left of the political spectrum, and disagree with the Mail’s editorial line on a range of issues, I have always admired the paper’s passion, rigour, boldness and of course, news values. I believe the Mail has a vitally important role to play in the national debate, and I admire your relentless focus on the need for integrity and morality in public life, and your outspoken defence of faith, and Christian culture, in the face of attacks from militant atheists and secularists. I also believe – as does Peter – that I could be a fresh and passionate, not to mention polemical and contrarian, voice on the comment and feature pages of your award-winning newspaper.”

The journalist, who now works for The Huffington Post, said he was deeply embarrassed by the letter which was initially published on the Guido Fawkes website on Friday.

The Daily Mail then published an extract from the letter on Saturdayt.

Hasan told his followers on Twitter that the Mail’s decision to publish the letter was a result of his assault on the paper going viral on Youtube.

One copy of the video had been viewed more than 450,000 times while a second copy had more than 260,000 hits.

Leading employment law specialist Gillian Howard told Press Gazette: "While the publication of this letter is highly embarassing, the Daily Mail have not done anything wrong in law. There is nothing in the Data Protection Act that precludes the Daily Mail from sending this letter anywhere and everywhere. There is no implied duty of confidentiality."

Speaking on Question Times last week, Hasan said: "Let's have the debate about who hates Britain more, it isn't a dead Jewish refugee from Belgium who served in the Royal Navy, it's the immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting Daily Mail."

Hasan tweeted:  "Guess what? The Mail don't like very much now. But my offer to write a weekly column for them still stands. :-)"


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