Dozens of MPs have demanded that The Sun newspaper take “action” against Jeremy Clarkson, as his column on the Duchess of Sussex last week became the most complained about article ever.
The Clarkson’s Farm presenter faced a public backlash after writing in the tabloid that it was ‘dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.” He added: “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way.”
The Independent Press Standards Organization (Ipso) confirmed on Tuesday lunchtime that Mr Clarkson’s piece had become its most complained about, receiving more than 17,500 complaints as of 9am.
A spokesman for the regulator told the PA news agency: “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.”
MPs call for ‘definitive action’
An article in the Scottish Sun in Aug 2020 about the Stonehaven train derailment had previously received more than 16,860 complaints.
It came hours after 65 MPs led by Caroline Nokes, the Tory chairman of the women and equalities select committee, wrote an open letter to Victoria Newton, the editor of The Sun, in which they called for “definitive action”.
The letter was signed by 54 female and 11 male MPs. Signatories included Harriet Harman, the former acting Labor leader, and Andrea Leadsom, a senior Conservative backbencher who has held a number of Cabinet posts.
They wrote: “We are horrified at the recent article by Jeremy Clarkson in your publication. As parliamentarians of every persuasion, we condemn in the strongest the violent misogynistic language terms against the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
“This sort of language has no place in our country, and it is so unacceptable that it was allowed to be published in a mainstream newspaper.”
The MPs added “hateful articles” like the one published last week “do not exist in a vacuum” and said they “directly contribute” to threats such as those previously received by the Duchess.
They concluded: “Enough is enough. We cannot allow this type of behavior 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.
Writing on Twitter, Ms Nokes said: