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ITV releases statement backing Piers Morgan amid "bullying" accusations

ITV releases statement backing Piers Morgan amid
© Reuters
ITV issues a staunch defence of Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan following a spat with a former colleague on Twitter.

ITV has issued a statement in defence of Piers Morgan after the Good Morning Britain host was accused of "bullying" a former colleague online.

Almost 1,200 industry professionals signed a letter asking ITV to take action after Morgan became involved in a Twitter spat with Adeel Amini, a TV researcher who had briefly worked on Piers Morgan's Life Stories a decade ago.

In Amini's original tweet - which did not tag Morgan and starred out some of the letters in his name - he said he would "very much say no" to working on the show again, prompting an angry response from Morgan.

Quoting Amini's message, Morgan wrote to his 7.7 million followers: "Hi Adeel, you spent precisely two months working on Life Stories in 2010 & judging by your CV that was the pinnacle of your TV career. So you really don't need to worry about getting any more job offers from me because I'd rather employ a lobotomised Aardvark."

The remarks prompted the petition from outraged TV freelancers and executives - a move that Morgan said was "beyond parody", while insisting that he was "the victim" in the matter.

"ITV takes any allegations of bullying and harassment in the workplace very seriously indeed, and we are clear there is absolutely no place for it in ITV," ITV said in its official response.

"We have an independent whistleblowing helpline which we communicate through our induction process and which we monitor on an on-going basis, in addition to our internal grievance procedures channels, which are open to both permanent members of staff and freelancers.

"Our firm understanding is that in this instance, the tweet in question was not accusing Piers of bullying and harassment whilst working on Life Stories. Having spoken to both parties, there is therefore no internal investigation.

"In terms of the separate issue of social media exchanges, we understand some producers wish to express their views on their personal platforms, and we also think it is widely understood that Piers is a prolific and long-standing user of social media where he is well known for engaging in robust, heated exchanges, when criticism is levelled against him.

"However, Twitter accounts and the decision to comment on each other are their personal choices.

"Piers is a freelance presenter and we do not control his output on social media, or the other media platforms he writes for.

"To reiterate, we are clear there is no room for bullying at ITV and it is not tolerated. We are supportive and engaged members of Coalition for Change, and we will continue to work productively with colleagues across the industry."

Good Morning Britain continues weekdays from 6am on ITV.

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