The newly appointed editor of Gay Times magazine has today been terminated over a series of “ugly” and “hateful” tweets, including one in which he describes a woman as a “chav” with “retard children”.

Josh Rivers, who was named editor of the magazine in an editorial shake-up less than a month ago, apologised after the historic tweets were exposed by Buzzfeed UK.

Rivers said: “To every single person who is hurt, offended and disappointed: I’m sorry. The tweets are horrible. They are abhorrent. They are ugly. They are so hateful.”

Gay Times magazine said Rivers’ past tweets “do not align with the values of Gay Times, or any of our employees, in any capacity”.

It said: (Update) After an investigation of the facts surrounding historical tweets by Josh Rivers, the newly appointed Editor of Gay Times Magazine; we announce that his employment has been terminated with immediate effect.

Buzzfeed said it discovered the tweets while researching Rivers – who was previously the magazine’s marketing manager but took over as editor under new owner James Frost – following an invitation to interview him.

It said it found “several dozen tweets” between 2010 and 2015 that “would shock many people”.

In one, Rivers said:

“I wonder if they cast that guy as ‘The Jew’ because of that fucking ridiculously larger honker of a nose. It must be prosthetic. Must be.”

In another, he said:

“So the Egyptian men celebrate by raping women? Cool. Freedom rings for fat, smelly, hairy, cunt-face, backwards rapists. YAY!”

Another tweet read:

“Was so close to casually asking this chav to keep her incested, down syndrome, retard children quiet. But I just switched carriages. #xmas.”

Rivers, who is mixed race, said:

“These tweets from my past show a deep self-loathing that I’ve worked hard to overcome.

“I have long taken steps to address the issues that prevented me from treating people with the respect and kindness I value so dearly now.

“It is because of my past and my own awakening that I’ve since pivoted everything in my life towards supporting and empowering our community. It is upsetting that the damage I caused before has now resurfaced to cause more pain.

“I hope we can use this as an opportunity for growth, for healing, for moving forward. As evidenced by my own example, there is so much work to do.”

Gay Times Magazine posted on their twitter account: (updated from suspended 16 Nov)