In the piece, published in The Sun on Friday, Clarkson wrote that he had dreamed of Meghan Markle being paraded through British towns and publicly shamed, adding that “everyone who’s my age thinks the same way”. He added that he "hated" Meghan on a "cellular level", more than he hated the First Minister or serial killer Rose West.
The article attracted criticism from high-profile figures and his own daughter, Emily Clarkson, and was removed from The Sun’s website on Monday afternoon at Clarkson’s request. He has since tweeted: "Oh dear. I've rather put my foot in it."
The SNP's Westminster group of MPs wrote to Sun editor Victoria Newton on Monday to call for action on the ex-Top Gear host, a columnist for the paper for several years. The letter, authored by equalities spokesperson Kirsten Oswald, said the views the Grand Tour host had espoused were "abhorrent".
Ms Oswald wrote: "To print a comparison of the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland to a serial killer is shocking and entirely inappropriate. Mr Clarkson's political views should not be an excuse for engaging in this gratuitous hatred.
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"Mr Clarkson's views on Meghan Markle should never have been printed. His bile-filled violent rant was disgraceful and has rightly led to widespread condemnation.
"He should never have written what he did and there is no excuse for it. Violent misogynist sentiments such as those he expressed empower others, who engage in violence against women and girls, to believe that they have a right to behave this way.
"It is entirely possible to disagree without resorting to the misogyny and violent language Mr Clarkson used. The Sun should recognise this, retract the article, and apologise."
The SNP's letter came after a cross-party group of signatories said the former Top Gear presenter’s “hateful” article had contributed to an “unacceptable climate of hatred and violence”. In a letter addressed to The Sun’s editor, Victoria Newton, shared on Twitter on Tuesday by Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, the group demanded that the publication take action against Clarkson.
The letter read: “We welcome The Sun’s retraction of the article, we now demand action is taken against Mr Clarkson and an unreserved apology is issued to Ms Markle immediately. We further demand definitive action is taken to ensure no article like this is ever published again.”
The letter was signed by a total of 64 MPs. SNP MP John Nicolson also wrote to ITV chief executives following the “grotesque comments”.
In his own letter, also shared on Twitter, Mr Nicolson said Clarkson’s article had “crossed the line” and demanded he be dropped by the broadcaster. As well as the host of Amazon’s The Grand Tour, alongside Richard Hammond and James May, Clarkson also presents Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on ITV.
“Following grotesque comments made about the First Minister 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.” Mr Nicolson wrote.
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) said it had received more than 17,500 complaints over the article as of Tuesday morning – more than the total number of complaints the regulator received throughout the entirety of 2021 and the highest number of complaints ever received for a single article. Writing on Twitter, Clarkson said he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt” following the backlash and that he would “be more careful in future”.
It follows the recent broadcast of Harry and Meghan’s explosive six-part Netflix documentary, in which the couple made allegations of mistreatment by the royal family. The first three episodes saw Meghan accuse the British media of wanting to “destroy” her and claim “salacious” stories were “planted” in the press.
The duchess also took the publisher of The Mail on Sunday – Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) – to court, after it published parts of a personal letter to her father, Thomas Markle, winning the case in 2021.
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