Jeremy Clarkson: UK lawmakers ask Sun newspaper to sanction columnist for 'violent and misogynistic' language

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CNN Business

A group of British lawmakers are calling for action to be taken against columnist Jeremy Clarkson after he wrote a “violent and misogynistic” op-ed about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex in the Sun newspaper, which was later retracted.

“We welcome The Sun’s retraction of the article, we now demand that action be taken against Mr. Clarkson and an unreserved apology be issued to Ms. Markle immediately,” says the Letter, which was led by Caroline Nokes, a member of Parliament from the ruling Conservative party, and chair of the Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee.

Jeremy Clarkson tweeted that he was

“We further demand that definitive measures be taken to ensure that no article like this one is published again.”

The letter, posted on Nokes’ social media and signed by 64 other lawmakers from various political parties, condemns the “violent and misogynistic” language used against Meghan.

“This type of language has no place in our country and it is unacceptable that it has been allowed to be published in a conventional newspaper”, says the text.

“Mrs. Markle faced several credible threats to her life, requiring the Metropolitan Police to intervene. Hateful articles like the one written by Clarkson do not exist in a vacuum and directly contribute to this unacceptable climate of hate and violence.”

Thousands of people wrote to the UK’s press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO), to complain about the tabloid column owned by Rupert Murdoch. As of Tuesday morning, IPSO had received more than 17,500 complaints, the most complaints the regulator has received about a single article, a spokesperson told CNN.

The Sun stopped sharing its readership numbers in 2020, but the most recent data available showed it had a circulation of 1.2 million in March 2020, trade publication Press Gazette reported, citing figures from the official Bureau of Circulations. This was the highest circulation of any UK national newspaper at the time.

Clarkson, who is best known as the host of Amazon’s “The Grand Tour” motorsport show and a former host of the BBC’s “Top Gear” show, also received significant backlash from other online commentators, and on Monday, tweeted of his repentance over the column.

“Oh dear. I’d rather put my foot in it. In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene from Game of Thrones and it went down badly with a lot of people,” Clarkson wrote. and I will be more careful in the future.”

The Sun has since removed the article from its website.

“In light of Jeremy Clarkson’s tweet, he asked us to remove last week’s column,” the page reads now.

The Sun declined to comment further when contacted by CNN. CNN has also reached out to Clarkson’s representatives for comment.

Nokes responded to Clarkson’s tweet on his official Twitter account.

“I welcome Jeremy Clarkson’s acknowledgment that he caused #notanapology harm – but an editorial process allowed his column to go to print without challenge,” she wrote.

Damian Tambini, associate professor of media governance at the London School of Economics, told CNN that Harry and Meghan “don’t have much room to take direct action against newspapers” because the UK’s media regulatory framework “is in disarray”. and IPSO “is widely considered to have been captured by the press”.

The code governing UK media standards deals only with overt racism or careless inaccuracy rather than hate, incitement or misogyny, he added.

“The code and the IPSO lack credibility and are unlikely to take real action,” said Tambini.

Clarkson’s column follows the launch earlier this month of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s “Harry and Meghan” documentary series on Netflix, in which the couple discusses their treatment at the hands of the UK press.

Harry blamed the media for placing undue stress on his wife and linked the press coverage to a miscarriage she suffered in July 2020 after moving to California.

Meghan recalled how stressed she was by the British newspaper Mail on Sunday, which published a private letter she had written to her father, Thomas Markle.

CNN reached out to the Mail on Sunday and its publisher Associated Newspapers Limited for comment when the documentary aired on Dec.

The Sussexes cut all business with four of the UK’s biggest tabloids in 2020 after years of strained relations.

The newspapers – Daily Mail, Sun, Mirror and Express – were notified at the time by letter.

In the letter, the couple said they believe a free press “is the cornerstone of any democracy” but added that “there is a real human cost” to the way tabloids conduct their business.