The Sun newspaper has said it regrets publishing a column by Jeremy Clarkson about the Duchess of Sussex.
His column, which was published on Sunday, said he was “dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her”.
The remarks sparked a huge backlash, with Clarkson’s daughter Emily, as well as many others, speaking out against him.
The column became the most complained about ever, with the Independent Press Standards Organisation receiving more than 20,800 complaints as of 5pm on Tuesday.
The article has since been removed from The Sun’s website at Clarkson‘s request.
The full apology
The newspaper said in a statement: “In last Saturday’s Sun, Jeremy Clarkson wrote a comment article about the Duchess of Sussex.
“It provoked a strong response and led to a large number of complaints to IPSO, the independent press regulator.
“In a tweet earlier this week, Jeremy said he had made a ‘clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones’, which had ‘gone down badly with a great many people’ and he was ‘horrified to have caused so much hurt’.
“He also said he will be more careful in future.
“Columnists’ opinions are their own, but as a publisher, we realise that with free expression comes responsibility.
“We at The Sun regret the publication of this article and we are sincerely sorry.
“The article has been removed from our website and archives.
“The Sun has a proud history of campaigning, from Help for Heroes to Jabs Army and Who Cares Wins, and over 50 years of working in partnership with charities, our campaigns have helped change Britain for the better.
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“Working with our readers, The Sun has helped to bring about new legislation on domestic abuse, provided beds in refuges, closed harmful loopholes in the law and empowered survivors of abuse to come forward and seek help.
“We will continue to campaign for good causes on behalf of our readers in 2023.”
Meghan and Harry’s documentary
The column, in which Clarkson said he “hated” Meghan, came on the back of the couple’s highly anticipated Netflix documentary series.
The Sussexes opened up about their experiences in the “institution” and the difficulties they faced due to negative media coverage.
Clarkson then used his column to describe his frustration at the duchess.
More than 60 MPs wrote to the editor of the newspaper condemning the piece “in the strongest terms”.
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The letter put forward by Conservative MP Caroline Nokes demanded that the publication take action against Clarkson.
It said the former Top Gear presenter’s “hateful” article about Meghan Markle had contributed to an “unacceptable climate of hatred and violence”.
A senior ITV executive said his comments were “awful” but Clarkson will continue as host of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? “at the moment“.