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Piers Morgan welcomes Ofcom ruling

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Piers Morgan welcomes Ofcom ruling

Piers Morgan has hailed Ofcom's rejection of complaints against him as a "resounding victory for free speech".

The broadcast watchdog delivered a 26-page ruling on Wednesday (01.09.21) clearing him of any wrongdoing after they received over 57,000 complaints over his hosting of 'Good Morning Britain' when he questioned the Duchess of Sussex's comments in her controversial Oprah Winfrey interview, including saying he didn't believe the former actress when she claimed to have been suicidal.

And the 56-year-old presenter - who quit 'GMB' after refusing to apologise for his remarks - is "delighted" with their ruling.

He told MailOnline: "I’m delighted that Ofcom has so emphatically supported my right to disbelieve the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have since been proved to be untrue. This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios.

"As OFCOM says, to have stifled my right to express strongly held and robustly argued views would have been an ‘unwarranted and chilling restriction on freedom of expression."

And Piers joked he'd be looking to return to his position on the morning show's sofa in the wake of the verdict.

He quipped: "In light of this decision – do I get my job back?"

Meghan herself was one of the people who made a complaint about his comments and Piers slammed her for the way she raised her objections to ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall.

He said: "I was reliably informed recently that Meghan Markle wrote directly to my ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall the night before I was forced out, demanding my head on a plate.

"Apparently, she stressed that she was writing to Dame Carolyn personally because they were both women and mothers – a nauseating playing of the gender and maternity card if ever there was one. What has the world come to when a whiny fork-tongued actress can dictate who presents a morning television news programme?"

In their ruling, Ofcom insisted Piers was entitled to "rigorously challenge" the comments made by Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, in the interview, including that the duchess felt suicidal and questions had been raised by an unnamed royal about the colour of their unborn baby's skin, and branded attempts to silence him a "chilling restriction on freedom of expression".

They ruled: "Mr Morgan was entitled to say he disbelieved the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s allegations and to hold and express strong views that rigorously challenged their account...

"The restriction of such views would, in our view, be an unwarranted and chilling restriction on freedom of expression both of the broadcaster and the audience.

"Overall, Ofcom considered that there is a high public interest value in broadcasting open and frank discussions about race and racism, as long as they comply with the Code."

The watchdog also rejected allegations that Piers was not "duly impartial", had "misrepresented facts" and "mocked the American accent".

Hours after the tell-all interview with Oprah had aired in the US on 7 March, Piers had blasted the duchess on 'Good Morning Britain'.

He fumed: "I'm sorry, I don't believe a word she says. I wouldn't believe her if she read me a weather report. The fact she has expressed an onslaught against our Royal Family is contemptible."

The following day, he walked off camera during a heated row with weatherman Alex Beresford, who accused him of unfairly "trashing" the duchess.

Piers quit the programme later that day.


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