Comedian Andrew Lawrence has been dropped by his agent and has had several of his upcoming tour dates cancelled, following comments he made on Twitter
So, who is the comedian - and what did he say? This is what you need to know.
Who is Andrew Lawrence?
Lawrence was once an award-winning comedian who was commissioned to write and act on BBC programmes, including Ideal (2007-2010), Live at the Apollo and radio show, What To Do If You're Not Like Everybody Else.
He has also written a book, Reasons to Kill Yourself, and presents his own stand up comedy tours.
He has not worked for the BBC since 2015, and in 2017 he commented on his social media that comedians who criticise parties such as UKIP are "out of touch, smug, superannuated, overpaid TV comics with their cosy lives in their west-London ivory towers taking a supercilious, moralising tone, pandering to the ever-creeping militant political correctness of the BBC".
He also criticised "liberal back-slapping panel shows like Mock the Week", and said "aging, balding, fat men, ethnic comedians and women-posing-as-comedians, sit congratulating themselves on how enlightened they are about the fact that UKIP are ridiculous and pathetic".
What did he say on Twitter about England footballers?
His latest controversy came after the Euro 2020 final on the evening of 11 July, when he took to Twitter to engage with an onslaught of vile racist abuse directed at black football players in the England team.
In particular, he made abhorrent remarks about 21-year-old Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, 19, and Marcus Rashford, 23, all of whom missed their penalties in the final.
The tweets read: “All I’m saying is, the white guys scored,” adding: “Equality, diversity, s*** penalties.”
Lawrence later said: “I can see that this has offended a lot of people, and I’m sorry that black guys are bad at penalties.”
He then took a jibe directly at Rashford, commenting: “I’d rather he’d practised his penalties and the kids had gone hungry.”
What actions have been taken following his racist comments?
Despite his taunts at Twitter users who had taken offence, Lawrence has now deleted his Twitter account.
His tirade of racism has also led to his agent dropping him as a client and many venues cancelling his performances.
He was due to perform at nine venues across the UK, starting in August 2020.
Worcester Live confirmed it has “stopped selling tickets” and taken any advertisement of his show off of its website, adding: “Worcester Live do not support hate speech in any form and we are currently liaising with Andrew's agent. We will be in touch ASAP with an outcome.”
Guildford's G Live venue wrote: "Andrew Lawrence’s performances in the Bellerby Studio at G Live have been taken off sale with immediate effect. We will be in touch with ticket holders in due course."
What racist abuse have England players received since the Euro 2020 final?
The three players have received an outpouring of adoration from England fans, former players and governing bodies since they played in the final of the Euros.
However, this has been dulled by a tirade of racist abuse from racist social media users directed at the players.
Screenshots of abuse posted on Saka’s Instagram account show monkey and banana emojis, and comments telling him to “go home to Nigeria.”
The FA has responded to the abusive messages, saying in a statement: “We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and are appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media.
“We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.
“We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.”
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has been criticised for his lack of support for legal action to be taken against those who spout hateful comments.
Instead, he said in a Downing Street briefing on Monday 12 June: “crawl under whichever rock you came from.”
England footballer Tyrone Mings has also hit out at Home Secretary Priti Patel for condemning the racist abuse faced by his teammates, after she previously said players taking the knee was “gesture politics”.
Priti Patel was one of many politicians and public figures to slam the racial abuse directed at England players on social media, however she has been criticised for hypocrisy.