Watch as ITV boss gives evidence to MPs on This Morning and Phillip Schofield - what we know
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ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall is giving evidence to MPs today over the broadcaster’s handling of former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield’s affair with a younger work colleague. The chief executive of ITV faces questions from MPs in a session of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Dame McCall’s colleagues Kevin Lygo (ITV’s managing director, media and entertainment) and Kyla Mullins (ITV general counsel and company secretary) are also expected to give evidence.
Last month, Schofield stepped down from his This Morning hosting duties after he admitted to lying to bosses and ITV co-stars about the affair. At the session, Dame McCall will be asked about the broadcaster’s approach to safeguarding and complaint handling amid allegations of a wider "toxic" culture at the programme.
The session kicked off at 10am this morning (June 14). You can watch the proceedings as they happen here.
Following Schofield’s revelations, former This Morning star Dr Ranj called the culture on the show ‘toxic’ in a statement on Twitter. The NHS doctor released a statement after he was contacted by journalists asking him about his experience on the ITV daytime show.
He said: “Lots of journalists have been contacting me this weekend enquiring about this, so I think it’s only right that I clarify things.
“There is so much more I could say, but for now I hope my concerns will finally be taken seriously, and something good comes from all this…”
Dr Ranj spoke about the affair in his statement, writing: “I didn’t know the truth about what was going on with Philip, but I do know the issues with TM go far beyond him.”
The NHS doctor featured on This Morning for 10 years and said he’d “thought long and hard about posting” the statement. The 43-year-old added he raised his concerns to ITV while he worked on the show.
Last week, Magnus Brooke, defended the network’s duty of care to staff. ITV’s director of strategy, policy and regulation, told MPs bullying was "unacceptable" and would be "dealt with appropriately".
"There’s a very sophisticated and a significant system of safeguarding and duty of care at ITV with a very significant set of policies," Brooke told a House of Commons committee last Tuesday.
A barrister will lead an external review into its handling of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and his younger colleague to “establish facts”. This was confirmed by chief executive Dame McCall in a letter.
The broadcaster previously said it had investigated the then-rumours about Schofield in 2020, but both parties repeatedly denied the relationship.
As today’s session commenced, Dame McCall was first asked about who knew the Schofield rumours before he confirmed the relationship. She responded by saying she knew about the rumours back in 2019 but when Schofield revealed he was gay in early 2020, the rumours intensified.
She said that was the first time things "got really febrile".
McCall went on to add the "imbalance of power" made Schofield’s relationship "deeply inappropriate".
"And we have policies that say that very clearly," she says.
However, she added ITV had no evidence of the relationship as she said "It was repeatedly denied by both individuals” and no one in the team came forward to say they knew anything about the relationship.