Writer and commentator Owen Jones walked out of a live news discussion panel on the Orlando shootings after his fellow presenters suggested the attack was not a homophobic hate crime. In the worst shooting in recent US history, gunman Omar Mateen opened fire in gay nightclub Pulse, killing 50 people and wounding 53 others.

But on a Sky News panel discussing the daily papers' front pages, host Mark Longhurst and panellist Julia Hartley-Brewer debated Jones about whether or not the attack deliberately targeted LGBTQ people.

"Clearly there is a question of whether there is, as you say, a hate crime, or whether something is being done in the name of religion," Longhurst said, to which Jones responded: "It's both."

"People rationalise their hatred," Jones said. "This guy, apparently, according to his dad, saw two men kissing and he was repulsed by it, and people know this who are gay, that there are people out there who are sickened and repulsed by our very existence.

"And this guy, however he dresses up his bigotry and hatred is somebody who hates gays, he hates LGBT people. And he had a gun and because of, as you say, America's gun laws, he used that to murder LGBT people. This was a homophobic hate crime as well as terrorism, and it has to be called out as such."

Longhusrt commented the mass shooting was a crime "against all people trying to enjoy themselves, as Bataclan was."

"I'm sorry, you don't understand this because you're not gay," Jones told the host.

Jones was also told by Hartley-Brewer, "I don't think that you have ownership of horror of this crime because you're gay. I'm not Jewish, I'm not gay, I'm not French but I'm still completely horrified by these crimes."

Host Longhurst asked Jones whether he shared the view that the attack was on gay people rather than on the freedom of people to enjoy themselves regardless of their sexuality.

"What on earth are you talking about?" Jones responded. "This was a deliberate attack on LGBT people in an LGBT venue. It was a homophobic terrorist attack, do you not understand that? It's not some abstract, kind of just picked a club out of nowhere. He picked a club because it was full of people he regarded as deviants."

As the discussion became more heated, with Longhurst and Hartley-Brewer suggesting they did not know the extent to which homophobia motivated the attack, Jones eventually walked off the show.

"I'm sorry, I just find this the most astonishing thing I've ever been involved in on television. If he'd 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."