Jeremy Clarkson’s column about the Duchess of Sussex has become the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s most complained about article ever.
The regulator said the piece, which has since been removed from The Sun’s website at Clarksonits inquiry, had received more than 17,500 complaints by 09:00 on Tuesday.
“We will follow our normal processes to investigate the complaints we have received. This will take longer than usual due to the volume of complaints,” an IPSO spokesperson said, adding that the number of complaints would be subject to change.
The number also exceeded the total number of complaints the Norwegian Media Authority received in 2021, which was 14,355.
It comes as more than 60 MPs have written to the editor of The Sun condemning the column “in the strongest possible terms” – after the presenter said Meghan should “parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain”.
The letter, put forward by Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, demanded that the publication take action against Clarkson.
That’s what the former Top Gear presenter’s “hateful” article was about Meghan Markle had contributed to an “unacceptable climate of hatred and violence”.
His column, which was published on Sundaysaid that he “dreams of the day when she is forced to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and throw clumps of excrement at her”.
The remarks were met with backlash, with Clarkson’s daughter Emily, as well as many others, speaking out against him.
Clarkson responded to the backlash with a statement, asking to be more careful in the future.
However, this has been criticized for not including an apology.
In the letter to The Sun’s editor, Victoria Newton, Nokes and other MPs demanded that the paper take action against the presenter.
‘Enough is enough’
“We are appalled by the recent article by Jeremy Clarkson in your publication. As parliamentarians of every persuasion, we condemn in the strongest terms the violent misogynistic language directed at the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle,” the letter read.
“This kind 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 several credible threats to her life and requires the intervention of the Metropolitan Police”.
“Hateful articles like the one written by Clarkson do not exist in a vacuum and contribute directly to this unacceptable climate of hatred and violence.”
The letter added that MPs are “deeply concerned about the role model being promoted to young men and boys” in the article, which may suggest that it is “okay to use violent language to address a woman with whom you may disagree” .
Jeremy Clarkson responds after backlash from Meghan column
Jeremy Clarkson ordered the closure of eateries at Diddly Squat Farm
“You will no doubt know how violence against women and girls has increased across the UK in recent years. We must do better. Enough is enough. We cannot allow this kind of behavior to go unchecked any longer.”
Nokes said she and the other MPs “demand action against Mr Clarkson and an unreserved apology be sent to Markle immediately”, and that definitive action is being taken to ensure “no article like this is published again”.
Clarkson should not be “allowed back” on TV
SNP MP John Nicolson also wrote to ITV bosses following the “grotesque comments”.
In his own letter, also shared on Twitter, Nicolson said Clarkson’s article had “crossed the line” and believed the broadcaster should not be “allowed back on our screens”.
After the massive backlash over the weekend, Clarkson responded in a tweet on Monday, saying: “Oh dear. I’d rather put my foot in it. In a column I wrote about Meghan, I awkwardly referenced a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone bad with a great many people. I am horrified to have caused so much hurt, and I shall be more careful in the future.”
But many, including Nokes, said this was no excuse.
She added: “I welcome Jeremy Clarkson’s acknowledgment that he has caused harm… but an editorial process allowed his column to be printed unchallenged.”
The Independent Press Standards Organization (IPSO) said it had received more than 12,000 complaints about the article as of 5pm on Monday.