Backlash as Sky News presenter describes London road as ‘Middle Eastern quarter’

Sky News editor Adam Boulton is at the centre of an online furore after he referred to a London street as a 'Middle Eastern' quarter.

It came after journalist Harry Cole tweeted claims a pair of Jewish friends from Washington DC  had been 'spat at' in London's Edgware Rd, a stretch that spans several north-west boroughs.

"Caught up with some friends over from DC and felt a terrible stab of shame when I asked how their trip had been and they said they got spat at on Edgware Road for wearing yarmulkes," Cole tweeted.

"What is going on in this city. How is this being tolerated?"

Boulton's retweet quoting Mail on Sunday deputy political editor Cole's post prompted an immediate backlash.

The Sky News editor at large and Sunday Times columnist's post, which has since been deleted, said: "No excuse but it is a Middle Eastern quarter."

At first the broadcaster attempted to defend his post, tweeting that people outraged by the statement had "distorted" what he meant, writing "you enjoy your outrage".

Cole tweeted in response to Boulton's gaffe: "No excuse. Full stop."

The Sky stalwart has since responded with an apology, writing. "My recent tweets are being misunderstood and misinterpreted. I apologise for any offence given which was never intended and will delete the comment.

Boulton's original tweet had caught the attention of Twitter users, who questioned whether it was accurate to describe London as divided into "ethnic quarters."

TalkRadio broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer challenged him in a tweet: "What does that mean? Are you saying that Jews visiting London shouldn't expect to walk around in an area heavily populated by Muslims and not be spat at? I hope not."

Jewish News UK web editor Jack Mendel called Boulton's tweet "silly generalisations that try to pit Muslims against Jews."

Mendel tweeted: "What @adamboultonsky is implying, is Jews aren't safe walking through a 'Middle Eastern' [heavily Muslim] area in London, and can expect to be attacked.

"Both false generalisations…and attempts to dig himself out, saying it's not a 'typical area'. What's a typical area?"

Sky has been approached for comment.

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