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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Zoe Delaney

ITV urged to sack Jeremy Clarkson from Who Wants to Be A Millionaire after Meghan rant

A Member of Parliament is calling on ITV to sack Jeremy Clarkson following the star's hateful comments about Meghan Markle and Nicola Sturgeon.

SNP MP John Nicolson shared this evening how "following grotesque comments made about the First Minster and The Duchess of Sussex ", he "does not believe Jeremy Clarkson should be allowed back on our screens".

He asked ITV how "comparing the democratically elected leader of Scotland or the only person of colour in the Royal Family to a renowned serial killer [helps the channel's] stated purposes of championing better mental health and embracing diversity".

The MP for Ochil & South Perthshire posted his letter to the Chief Executive of ITV Carolyn McCall with his Twitter followers, amid reaction the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host's apology earlier today.

Calls for Clarkson to be sacked from his job presenting the ITV game show come as it's revealed the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) has received more than 12,000 complaints over his article written about the Duchess of Sussex.

Jeremy Clarkson has been criticised by many stars and even his own daughter following his comments (Getty Images)

Clarkson broke his silence regarding the backlash on social media but failed to apologise to Meghan, 41, after sharing how he hates the former Suits actress "on a cellular level" and wants her to be "paraded naked through the streets".

The Grand Tour host, 62, wrote in a newspaper column for The Sun how he "dreams of people throwing lumps of excrement at her" in the insensitive spew of hatred towards Meghan – who he has never met.

Clarkson, who attended an event the Queen Consort was present at last week, also took aim at the First Minister for Scotland in his latest column for the national publication.

Clarkson says he hates Meghan more than a convicted serial killer (Netflix)

In his letter addressed to ITV's Chief Executive, Mr Nicholson writes: "In his column, Mr Clarkson wrote, 'Meghan, though, is a different story. I hate her. Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West.

"'I hate her on a cellular level. At night, I'm unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, "Shame!" and throw lumps of excrement at her'."

The MP's letter continues to read: "As a Member of Parliament and a journalist by profession, I have consistently defended freedom of the press. However, this has crossed a line.

Clarkson often takes aim at Scotland's First Minister (PA)

"Using the names of the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland and the Duchess of Sussex alongside that of a serial killer is grotesque. Expressing a scatological, misogynistic fantasy that Meghan Markle might be assaulted with faces is an insight into a disturbed mind, openly expressing violent hate speech.

"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."

Clarkson has hosted the revived ITV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? since 2018, replacing former host Chris Tarrant.

The MP's letter goes on share an extract from the broadcaster's 'Statement of Programme Policy', in which ITV say their "purpose as a public service broadcaster is not only to reach and connect with millions of people and inspire positive change, it is also to reflect and shape culture."

Clarkson took over Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? presenting duties in 2018 (ITV)

Mr Nicholson adds: "I do not believe that the behaviour of Mr Clarkson is in line with ITV's purpose to 'connect with millions of people and inspire positive change'. Nor do I believe encouraging the abuse of women in the public eye enhances the culture you wish to 'reflect and shape'?

"Comparing the democratically elected leader of Scotland or the only person of colour in the Royal Family to a renowned serial killer clearly does not help in your stated purposes of championing better mental health or embracing diversity. The very opposite is true."

He continues: "Public indignation at Mr Clarkson's repulsive outburst is significant and is reflected in the number of complaints already made to the independent press regulator, Ipso. The total number of complaints made to Ipso in 2021 was 14,355. More than 6,000 complaints regarding Mr Clarkson's column have been made since last Friday."

The Scottish MP shared his letter with his Twitter followers this evening (@MrJohnNicolson/Twitter)
It comes as IPSO issue a statement regarding the complaints made against Clarkson's column (Getty Images)

A spokesman for the media watchdog Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) said of the complaints today: "We will follow our usual processes to examine the complaints we have received.

"This will take longer than usual because of the volume of complaints."

Mr Nicholson concludes his letter writing: "I note that Mr Clarkson has responded to public revulsion with a mocking tweet. It's clear no repentance is likely.

"So I believe there is now considerable public interest in how ITV responds."

The Mirror have approached ITV for comment on Mr Nicholson's letter.

Meghan and Harry recently starred in a divisive Netflix docu-series (Netflix)

In a tweet shared with his Twitter followers today, Clarkson wrote: "Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it. 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."

In one of the replies to Clarkson's tweet, one Twitter user shared an extract from one of the star's previous columns for The Sun and asked him: "Was this part a scene in the Games of Thrones? You wrote an entire article about Meghan dying prior to this article."

In the extract, Clarkson wrote: "When she dies, hopefully many years from now, she will not be carried in front of millions by stoic men with good hearts and strong arms.

"If it’s a slow news day, the best she’ll get is a small obituary in The Times on Page 27."

The extract was taken from another of Clarkson's columns for The Sun, published in September this year following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

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