British broadcaster Piers Morgan says he stands by his criticism of Meghan Markle’s recent TV interview - and insists freedom of speech is a hill he’s ‘happy to die on’.
The 55-year-old quit his role on ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday, amid intense criticism of his comments about the interview.
After the interview first aired in the US, Mr Morgan appeared to dismiss Ms Markle’s comments about her mental health, noting “I don’t believe a word she said.”
The broadcaster's remarks have prompted an investigation by UK media regulator Ofcom, who said they'd received over 40,000 complaints about Monday's episode of GMB.
During yesterday’s show, Mr Morgan stormed off the set after his colleague Alex Beresford criticised his treatment of Ms Markle.
ITV later confirmed Mr Morgan had decided “now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain” - saying they accepted his decision.
Mr Morgan has clarified initial comments were referring to the interview as a whole, and said issues of mental health and suicide “should be taken seriously”.
However, in a tweet accompanied by a meme of Winston Churchill, Mr Morgan this morning stood by his initial comments.
Mr Morgan said: “On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on.
“Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions.”
On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions. pic.twitter.com/bv6zpz4Roe
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2021
On Newstalk Breakfast, London-based journalist Vincent McAviney said it does appear Mr Morgan’s departure was his own decision.
He said: “On Monday, he delivered the highest audience for the programme he had done.
“Many people are thinking actually he’s used this now - he’d [reached] the end of the road he can at Good Morning Britain.
“There are two new news channels launching in the UK - he might have decided this is a way to get a nice big contract from one of those.”
'Shows go on'
Meanwhile, Piers Morgan's former colleagues have addressed his departure on this morning's episode of Good Morning Britain.
'Shows go on and so on we go.'
'He has been a voice for many of you and a voice that many of you have railed against.'@susannareid100 speaks about Piers' resignation from GMB. pic.twitter.com/sVTcKMwx8N
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) March 10, 2021
Co-host Susanna Reid said she and Mr Morgan had 'disagreed on many things'.
She said: "You will know that I disagreed with him about Meghan's interview - he himself clarified his comments about her mental health on the show yesterday.
"Now Piers has decided to leave the programme - some of you may cheer, and others will boo.
"He has been my presenting partner... for more than five years. During Brexit and the pandemic and other issues, he has been a voice for many of you - and a voice many of you have railed against.
"It is certainly going to be very different, but shows go on, and so on we go."