Kelvin MacKenzie’s abrupt departure from the Daily Telegraph, after penning just one column, has been pinned on an internal revolt by the paper's sports desk, led by Alan Hansen, according to the Guardian columnist Roy Greenslade.
Hansen played for Liverpool on the day of the Hillsborough tragedy and has been a long-standing supporter of the bereaved families – and critic of MacKenzie’s front page splash denouncing the people of Liverpool.
Greenslade wrote in his column: “I understand that the editor, Tony Gallagher, was made aware by the sports desk of deep upset about the hiring of MacKenzie by its writers, especially its star columnist Alan Hansen.”
It is believed Gallagher was told in no uncertain terms that Hansen could not continue with his column if MacKenzie remained present, forcing Gallagher to side with him or face a torrent of negative publicity.
In addition Greenslade has also shone some light on MacKenzie’s similarly rapid departure from the Daily Mail, writing: “MacKenzie was extremely upset about the editing of his column, which included the refusal to publish certain items. He regarded this as censorship. It led to a series of rows and eventually, after one extremely contentious decision not to run a certain item (the contents of which I cannot disclose), MacKenzie went.”