Watch: Journalist walks out of Sky News interview after clashing with host over Orlando gun attack


Journalist Owen Jones walked out of a live Sky News interview about the mass killing in Orlando after clashing with interviewer Mark Longhurst and fellow guest Julia Hartley-Brewer about the gunman's motives.

They were discussing the mass killing which left 50 people dead and 53 injured after gunman Omar Mateen targeted gay nightclub Pulse in Florida.

Longhurst told Jones: "Clearly there is the question of whether, as you say, there is a hate crime or something's being done in the name of religion. We do have to try and deliniate between the two."

Jones disagreed saying the attack should be "called out" for what it is - a homophobic crime. He also said the panellists were trying to "deflect" the homophobic aspect of the attack.

"At the end of the day this was a homophobic hate crime, as well as terrorism, and it has to be called out, as I have to say, on Sky News and lots of news channels, there's not been many LGBT voices that I've heard myself," he said.

Longhurst interjected and said the crime had been carried out against "human beings" who were "trying to enjoy themselves - whatever their sexuality".

Longhurst also added Jones could not suggest the Orlando attack was "worse" than the Bataclan murders in Paris last November where more than 100 people were killed.

Owen Jones on Sky News.

Jones responded saying that Longhurst "could not understand" as he was not gay.

Longhurst retorted: "Whether I'm gay or not has no reflection on the fact that this person killed 50 people."

Co-panellist Julia Hartley-Brewer appeared to side with Longhurst, saying that she would equally be at risk for being a "gobby woman".

Owen Jones on Sky News.

An exasperated Jones said: "I'm sorry, I just find this the most astonishing thing I've ever been involved in on television.

"If he'd [Mateen] walked into a synagogue and massacred dozens of Jewish people, you wouldn't be saying what you're saying now."

"You would be talking about it as an anti-semitic attack. This was a deliberate attack on LGBT people."

Owen Jones on Sky News.

Eventually Jones walked off the set of the channel's newspaper review.

Jones said: "I've had enough of this" as he took off his microphone and left the set, admitting he was "upset".

He quickly won support from people, including comedian Matt Lucas and Labour shadow minister Caroline Flint.

Jones later thanked people for their support, saying "it really was just an instinctive reaction to an unpleasant situation".

Although a few people didn't agree with Owen's decision.

Meanwhile, MP Diane Abbott told Hartley-Brewer she was "in denial about the homophobic nature of the attack", to which she said:

Despite the altercation on air, it appears there's no bad blood between Hartley-Brewer and Jones with the broadcaster retweeting many of Jones's tweets following the incident.

Owen Jones.