Owen Jones hits out at the Times after it publishes 'homophobic' column

 Guardian columnist Owen Jones speaks to the crowd during the Anti-Trump protest in London. Anti- Trump Protesters gather at the Trafalgar Square and marched to 10 Downing Street in London while Thousands of people protest against Donald Trump's state visit, and his views on climate crisis, abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, Islam, emigration. The rally included speakers such as Jeremy Corbin, Caroline Lucas, Laura Pidcock among others. (Photo by Andres Pantoja / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Owen Jones speaks to the crowd during the anti-Trump protest in London. (Photo by Andres Pantoja / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Labour activist and Guardian columnist Owen Jones has accused Giles Coren of homophobia after he suggested Mr Jones could end up in the House of Lords “chasing young researchers with tight bottoms up and down the corridors”.

Mr Coren, the writer and TV presenter, was writing in a predictions for 2020 piece in The Times’ Red Box, and has since denied he was aware Mr Jones is gay.

He wrote: “My prediction for next year is Owen Jones getting a peerage in Corbyn’s resignation honours (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.”

Mr Jones responded on his Twitter account this afternoon.

Mr Coren insisted he was not being homophobic, but trying to make a joke about Mr Jones “being corrupted” and suggesting old lords are predatory.

Mr Jones, a vocal supporter of departing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, replied to his tweet in disbelief, and Mr Coren again said he would not make a homophobic remark.

The Times’ Red Box editor, Matt Chorley, who was also criticised by Mr Jones, insisted the remarks were a joke and claimed Mr Jones was aware of that.

The spat comes after three men admitted earlier this month that they were involved in an attack on Mr Jones at a pub in Islington in August.

James Healy, 40, Charlie Ambrose, 30, and Liam Tracey, 34, all admitted affray, with Healy also admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Healy also faces a trial of issue in front of a judge to determine if his attack was motivated by Mr Jones’ sexuality, as the prosecution alleges.

The three, who all deny the attack was homophobic, are due to be sentenced in February.

The Times did not wish to comment on Mr Jones’ comments.