Sunday Times Ireland columnist Kevin Myers will not write again for the paper, a spokesman said.

The newspaper said it abhorred anti-Semitism after Mr Myers noted that two of the best-paid female presenters at the BBC, Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, were Jewish in an article on the corporation’s gender pay gap.

Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens has apologised personally to the two women for these “unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace”.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Kevin Myers will not write again for The Sunday Times Ireland.

“A printed apology will appear in next week’s paper.”

 

Mr Ivens said the article was unacceptable.

“It has been taken down and we sincerely apologise, both for the remarks and the error of judgment that led to publication.”

Mr Myers has been an outspoken commentator for a range of newspapers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland for many years.

His comments about Ms Winkleman and Ms Feltz in Sunday’s edition prompted a backlash on social media.

Claudia Winkleman

Claudia Winkleman

He had written: “Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity.”

As part of his article on the pay gap, Mr Myers also argued that men usually work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant.

Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of the Sunday Times Ireland, said the column contained views that have caused considerable distress and upset to a number of people.

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“As the editor of the Ireland edition, I take full responsibility for this error of judgment.

“This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people.”

The director-general of the BBC has said he will “value (the) contribution” of more than 40 senior female presenters and reporters who signed a letter demanding immediate action from him to tackle the gender pay gap.

Lord (Tony) Hall said work was under way to close disparities between how much men and women are paid at the corporation.

His response follows a letter, signed by the likes of Clare Balding, Emily Maitlis and Fiona Bruce, which called for action to sort out pay inequality “now”, rather than by Lord Hall’s self-imposed 2020 timescale.

The original letter, coordinated by Woman’s Hour host Jane Garvey, came after documents setting out the pay for staff on more than £150,000 showed a sizeable gap in the earnings of the corporation’s best-known male and female presenters and actors.

Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans topped the list on more than £2 million, while the highest-paid woman was Ms Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999.