An MP has written to ITV ‘s chief executive demanding that Jeremy Clarkson be taken off air completely, following his controversial remarks about the Duchess of Sussex.
John Nicolson, SNP shadow culture secretary and MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, shared a letter addressed to Dame Carolyn Julia McCall, who has been chief executive of ITV since 2018, on Twitter.
MP John Nicolson wrote on Twitter: “Following grotesque comments made about the First Minster and The Duchess of Sussex, I do not believe Jeremy Clarkson should be allowed back on our screens. I’ve written to the Chief Executive of ITV.”
In the letter, Nicolson wrote: “As a member of parliament and a journalist by profession, I have consistently defended the freedom of the press. However, this has crossed a line.”
“Using the names of a democratically elected First Minister of Scotland and the Duchess of Sussex alongside that of a serial killer is grotesque,” he continued.
“Expressing a scatological, misogynistic fantasy that Meghan Markle might be assaulted with faeces is an insight into a disturbed mind, openly expressing violence hate speech.”
He concluded: “I do not believe that Mr Clarkson should appear on our television screens again. It would be especially inappropriate for him to be used as a presenter by any Public Service Broadcaster.”
Nicolson went on to state that he does not believe that Clarkson aligns with ITV’s purpose to “connect with millions of people and inspire positive change”.
He noted that thousands of complaints have been made to the independent press standards organisation (Ipso) regarding the column since it was published last Friday.
The MP also noted that there is “considerable public interest in how ITV responds”, since Clarkson apparently shows “no repentance” for his words.
In his op-ed for The Sun, published on Friday (16 December), 62-year-old Clarkson wrote that he dreamt of the day Markle would be made to parade naked through Britain while the crowd chanted “shame” and threw “excrement” at her.
As a result of the column, Clarkson has been criticised by public figures including London mayor Sadiq Khan and Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Other critics included Clarkson’s own daughter Emily, who has previously spoken out against online misogyny and harassment.
On Monday (19 December), Clarkson posted a tweet addressing the backlash against the column.
“Oh dear, I’ve rather put my foot in it,” he wrote.
“In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people. I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”