Rachel Riley issues apology for ‘misunderstanding’ as Channel 4 urged to axe star amid ‘Islamophobia' row

Rachel Riley issues apology for ‘misunderstanding’ as Channel 4 urged to axe star amid ‘Islamophobia' row

WATCH HERE: Rachel Riley hits back at BBC's Kirsty Wark

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 15/04/2024

- 10:57

The Countdown star has addressed a now-deleted tweet after facing calls to be sacked

Countdown star Rachel Riley has apologised after sparking outrage with a now-deleted tweet about the Sydney mall stabbing.

The 38-year-old faced calls to be axed after claiming the horror attack in Australia over the weekend was a Palestinian uprising.

Six people were killed on Saturday after a knifeman went on a rampage at Westfield Bondi Junction.

The horrific attack had been carried out by 40-year-old Joel Cauchi, who police said suffered from mental health issues.

Riley originally shared a tweet which said the attack was the result of “globalised Infitada."

She later deleted the post before sharing a lengthy statement, apologising for her tweet being “misunderstood”.

Rachel Riley

Riley has come under fire following a tweet she has now deleted

Channel 4/ITV

She penned: “Just to clarify, my intention with this tweet was not to say this attack was caused by any ideation or to link it to Islamic extremism.

“At the time we did not know who the attacker was, and as such I made no reference.

“My aim was to highlight the weekly calls for 'intifada' being tolerated in London and around the world, which in actuality means violence on our streets.

“For 6 months now, I have avoided taking the tube, or going with my kids to anywhere near the marches each Saturday, and each week we see the extremist chants on proud display with little outcry.

Rachel Riley

Riley incorrectly posted that the Sydney attack was part of a Palestinian uprising


“Sadly, the type of attack seen in Sydney yesterday is exactly the kind of violence the previous intifada involved and I hope to avoid in future, but in my opinion ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

“Attacks on Jews have recently become repackaged as 'resistance' in some circles, and we should in one voice condemn all acts of violence, whoever the perpetrators and whoever the victims.

“I am sorry if this message was misunderstood, that was not my intention.”

Her explanation came after several flooded X to accuse Riley of racism over the Sydney attack.

Many angered X users called for Riley to be “sacked,” with one writing: “I have just called channel 4 @Channel4News complaint line the number is 03450760191 & spoke with the loveliest person. Please take 5 seconds to call and complain about Riley post below this is unacceptable. Blatant lie fueling division and put us at risk. The lines open at 10am."

“Boycott Channel 4 until Riley goes?” another suggested, while someone else added: “Can someone link me to the page where I can make a complaint against Rachel Riley and her obvious racism towards Palestinians and prejudice against Muslims? Thanks. This is backtracking at its finest because her job is at risk. Channel 4 needs to sack her.”

Rachel Riley

Riley has since apologised for the 'misunderstanding'


Another commented: “@Channel4News You would have thought TV channels would have learned their lesson from past presenter being totally unsuitable and when to part company with them. Riley's views are totally at odds with what is acceptable in 2024,and now Channel 4 is dragged into her comments.”

“Rachel Riley’s non-apology apology is quite something. ‘Sorry you misunderstood’ - no dear, i think we understood perfectly - you’re just trying to spin your racism now people are complaining to your employer. She’s a piece of work and Channel 4 should reevaluate her employ,” argued another.

“Rachel Riley should be sacked by channel 4 for being a bigot,” a fifth shared. (sic)

Speaking to Metro, a Channel 4 spokesperson stated: “We have reminded Rachel of her obligations as a contributor to Channel 4 programming.”

GB News has also reached out to Channel 4 for a comment.

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