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Jeremy Clarkson has PA
Jeremy Clarkson

Paper removes Jeremy Clarkson's Markle column after over 12,000 complaints to UK press regulator

His column about his ‘hatred’ of Meghan Markle has been widely condemned.

LAST UPDATE | 19 Dec 2022

UK PRESENTER JEREMY Clarkson has said that he is “horrified to have caused so much hurt” after he wrote in a column in The Sun newspaper that he hates Meghan Markle on a “cellular level.” 

The former Top Gear presenter wrote last week that he hates the former royal on a “cellular level” and that he is dreaming of the day “when she is made to parade naked” through Britain’s towns

The column, published last Friday, was deleted this evening after it was met with widespread condemnation, as celebrities, politicians and social media users labeled it abusive. 

A message on The Sun’s website said that Clarkson had “asked us to take last week’s column down”.

Britain’s independent press standards organisation, IPSO, said tonight it received over 12,000 complaints related to Clarkson’s column. 

It said part of its work includes looking at whether the Editors’ Code of Practice has been breached in individual cases, monitoring trends in editorial standards and making interventions to improve standards. 

Its statement 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.”

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

Earlier today saw Clarkson finally address the controversy with a tweet that read: “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.” 

TV personality Carol Vorderman refuted Clarkson’s claim that everyone who is his age “thinks the same way”.

“Not on any level, in any circumstance, is it okay to write this stuff about any woman and absolutely no to “everyone who’s my age thinks the same.” 

“No, no, no. We absolutely do not think the same. Listen to the noise Jeremy, the crowds are chanting ‘shame on you’,” her tweet read.

Comedian John Bishop also spoke out, saying “WTF IS THIS?? don’t care who you are or who you work for you simply can not write things like this. It is a blatant appeal to incite humiliation and violence on a woman. Some have excused it as dark humour. There is no joke here and no excuse.”

The UK based organisation Women in Journalism said that it is revolted by the “misogynistic & bullying comments made by Jeremy Clarkson about the Duchess of Sussex.”

“The brutal, graphic & derogatory language used was entirely unacceptable. We stand in support of all women who are targets of abuse and hate within media,” they further added.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that “words have consequences,” and that Clarkson’s words, in the midst of an “epidemic of violence against women and girls” is “no joke.”

“Men with powerful voices must do better than this,” he said.

Emily Clarkson, the presenter’s own daughter, also spoke out against his comments.

“I want to make it very clear that I stand against everything that my dad wrote about Meghan Markle and I remain standing in support of those that are targeted with online hatred,” the 28-year-old author said in a social media post.

Clarkson’s column compared his hatred of Markle to his hatred of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Speaking to BBC Scotland Sturgeon said:
“The overwhelming emotion I have for men like Jeremy Clarkson is pity.

“I can’t imagine what it must be like to be so consumed and distorted by hate of other people, and in his case it appears women in particular, that you end up writing that toxic, vile abuse.”

“Freedom of speech is really important and one of the values all of us cherish. But all of us, as we exercise those important rights, have to behave with a degree of responsibility,” she added.

Clarkson’s comments about Markle came after the release of the series Harry & Meghan on Netflix, in which she and her husband spoke at length about how they feel they have been treated by the British press, and Markle being made into a “target.”

With reporting by Eoghan Dalton

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