Jeremy Clarkson’s controversial newspaper column about Meghan Markle has become the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s most complained about article.
The column, which was published in The Sun on Friday 17 December, had received more than 17,500 complaints by 9am on Tuesday the following week.
“We will follow our usual processes to examine the complaints we have received,” an Ipso spokesperson told the PA news agency.
“This will take longer than usual because of the volume of complaints.”
The article was removed from The Sun’s website at Clarkson’s request following the backlash, a spokesperson for the publication said.
The spokesperson added that the number of complaints would be subject to change.
The number also surpassed the total number of complaints the media regulator received in 2021, which was 14,355.
The 62-year-old 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, Sadiq Khan, Nicola Sturgeon and even Clarkson’s own daughter, Emily, have publicly criticised the presenter’s comments.
John Nicolson, SNP shadow culture secretary and MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, urged ITV’s chief executive to remove Clarkson from public broadcast, following his “grotesque comments”.
Nicolson wrote: “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.”
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.”