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20th Dec 2022

Clarkson faces calls to be axed from Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Amazon Prime

Steve Hopkins

Clarkson’s comments about the Royal were branded ‘grotesque’

ITV is facing calls to axe Jeremy Clarkson as the host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? as outrage over his column on Megan Markle continues to grow.

On Sunday, the former Top Gear presenter wrote in the Sun how he “hates” the royal “on a cellular” level and dreams about people throwing “excrement” at her in the streets. He said he dislikes the Duchess of Sussex more than serial killer Rose West, who was responsible for the murder and torture of young women and children.

Amazon Prime is also under pressure to dump Clarkson. He presents The Grand Tour alongside Richard Hammond and James May, and has his own show Clarkson’s Farm, on the streaming service.

SNP MP John Nicolson has written to the ITV chief executives following Clarkson’s “grotesque comments” about Markle.

In the letter, shared on Twitter, Nicolson said Clarkson’s column had “crossed the line” and demanded he be dropped by the broadcaster.

“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,” he wrote above the letter.

Sky News reported on Tuesday that Clarkson’s column – which The Sun took offline on Monday at his request – had become the most complained about article ever, with more than 17,500 complaints to the press watchdog.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) milestone came after more than 60 MPs wrote to the editor of The Sun to condemn the column “in the strongest terms”.

Sky News said a letter, put forward by Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, demanded that the publication take action against the former Top Gear presenter.

The letter reportedly said Clarkson’s “hateful” article about Markle had contributed to an “unacceptable climate of hatred and violence”.

His column, which was published on Sunday, was even opposed by Clarkson’s daughter, Emily, who came out to say she “stands against everything” her dad said.

Clarkson on Monday tweeted that he was “horrified” by the amount of “hurt” he had caused and promised to be more careful in future. The comment was criticised for not including an apology.

In the letter addressed to The Sun’s editor, Victoria Newton, Nokes and other MPs demanded that the newspaper take action against the Clarkson.

It reads:  “We are horrified at the recent article by Jeremy Clarkson in your publication. As parliamentarians of every persuasion, we condemn in the strongest terms the violent misogynistic language against the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

“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 added that the MPs are “deeply concerned about the role modelling being promoted to young men and boys” in the article, which could suggest it is “okay to use violent language to address a woman that you might disagree with”.

Nokes said MPs demand action is taken against Clarkson immediately and that an “unreserved apology is issued”.

As of Monday evening, Ipso had received over 12,000 complaints related to the column.

Ipso said: “Ipso has received more than 12,000 complaints (5pm, 19 December 2022) about an opinion piece on the Duchess and Duke of Sussex written by Jeremy Clarkson and published by The Sun on Friday, 16 December 2022.

“The piece was removed from The Sun’s website this afternoon. 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.

“Using the Editors’ Code of Practice, we examine the complaints we receive and try to seek a resolution between the complainant and publication.”

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