An SNP MP has written to the chief executive of ITV calling for Jeremy Clarkson to be sacked by the broadcaster.
MP for Ochil and South Perthshire John Nicolson, the SNP’s media spokesperson, posted his letter on social media in which he condemned Clarkson’s “deplorable” comments about both Meghan Markle and Nicola Sturgeon.
The former Top Gear presenter is the current host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which is broadcast on ITV.
His recent article in The Sun, in which he said he is “dreaming of the day” Markle is “paraded naked through the streets of every town in Britain” while having excrement thrown at her, has faced significant backlash.
More than 12,000 complaints have been made to Ipso about the piece while the First Minister also slammed Clarkson for his comments.
Nicolson, a former journalist, said that he has “consistently defended freedom of the press” but that this particular article had “crossed a line”.
He said: “Using the names of the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland and the Duchess of Sussex alongside that of a serial killer is grotesque.
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. pic.twitter.com/oUnc3OvhKQ— JOHN NICOLSON M.P. (@MrJohnNicolson) December 19, 2022
“Expressing a scatological, misogynistic fantasy that Meghan Markle might be assaulted with faeces 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.”
The letter continued to say that Nicolson refused to believe Clarkson’s behaviour was in line with ITV’s purpose to “connect with millions of people and inspire positive change”.
Nicolson also commented on Clarkson’s response to the backlash in which he said he had made a “clumsy reference” to a Game of Thrones scene and that he would be “more careful in the future".
The MP added: “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.”
ITV has been contacted for comment.
This comes as more than 60 MPs have written to the editor of The Sun to condemn the piece as the group demanded that the publication take action against Clarkson.
“We are horrified at the recent article by Jeremy Clarkson in your publication. As parliamentarians of every persuasion, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the violent misogynistic language", the letter read.
It continued: “This sort of language has no place in our country, and it is unacceptable that it was allowed to be published in a mainstream newspaper. Ms Markle has faced multiple credible threats to her life, requiring the intervention of the Metropolitan Police.
“Hateful articles like the one written by Mr Clarkson do not exist in a vacuum, and directly contribute to this unacceptable climate of hatred and violence.”
The letter continued: “We are deeply concerned about the role modelling being promoted to young men and boys, that they can verbally attack women without a consequence or that it is OK to use violent language to address a woman that you might disagree with.
“You will no doubt know how violence against women and girls has surged across Britain in recent years. We must do better. Enough is enough. We cannot allow this type of behaviour to go unchecked any longer.
“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.