The Daily Mail has distanced itself from Katie Hopkins after the controversial columnist was accused of inciting anti-muslim sentiment.

The publication took the unusual step of issuing a full page leader column denying any association with Hopkins after The Guardian suggested that the Daily Mail's associated commentators could have influenced the Finsbury Park mosque attacker.

Hopkins was reported to the Metropolitan police for a tweet, later deleted, in which she called for a "final solution" after the Manchester bombing amid allegations it amounted to hate speech.

The 42-year-old later deleted the tweet, but not before Twitter users condemned her for appearing to use Nazi terminology to suggest how to deal with Islamic terrorism.

The Guardian responded to the controversy describing Mail readers as "vicious bigots with the blood of innocent, peace-loving Muslims on their hands."

A Guardian cartoon which showed a vehicle emblazoned with the words "Read the Sun and Daily Mail." mowing down Muslim worshippers was branded 'sick and disgusting' by the Mail. "The implication was as "unmistakable as it was poisonous," the paper said.

Issuing a defiant response to the "vitriol and bile" from the newspaper the column, believed to have been penned by Daily Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre, offered a strident defence insisting that Hopkins has no association with the Daily Mail.

The column said: "Earlier this week, a Guardian writer attacked the Daily Mail for carrying comments by the controversialist Katie Hopkins. That was a lie. The Guardian and its writer know that Ms Hopkins has nothing to do with the Daily Mail, but works for Mail Online – a totally separate entity that has its own publisher, its own readership, different content and a very different world view."

The Daily Mail column goes on to defend its readers as "small-c conservatives", rather than Tory supporters, who bear no ill-will towards immigrants or Muslims but are simply concerned over the impact on public services and social cohesion from "mass immigration."

Hopkins was sacked from LBC following a wave of criticism over her remarks in the wake of the terrorist attack which left 22 people dead.