Times columnist defends homophobic joke about Owen Jones

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In a light-hearted round-up of predictions for 2020 published in The Times, columnist Giles Coren took aim at his gay colleague from The Guardian because he had been known as a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. Coren wrote: “My prediction for next year is Owen Jones getting a peerage in Corbyn’s resignation honors (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.” Jones immediately called Coren out in Twitter accusing him of homophobia. Coren has denied that the comments were homophobic – claiming that he did not know Jones was gay. Although he has been publicly out for years already. “I’ve always quite admired his way of presenting his position. And his articulacy. It’s just a joke about the possibility of someone as ‘pure’ as him being corrupted in the end,” Coren added, “It’s an okay joke about idealistic young politicians turning into lecherous old peers. I didn’t know he was gay. I don’t follow him that closely”.

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