The Sun has issued an apology after an opinion piece from Jeremy Clarkson published in the newspaper last week became the most complained-about article in the history of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso).
The former Top Gear host added that he dreams of the day “when she is made to parade naked through the streets” while crowds “throw lumps of excrement at her”.
In the days that followed the piece’s publication, Clarkson sparked more than 20,000 complaints, and later requested that it was taken down from The Sun’s website.
On Friday the newspaper said in a statement: “Columnists’ opinions are their own, but as a publisher we realise that with free expression comes responsibility. We at The Sun regret the publication of this article and we are sincerely sorry.
“The Sun has a proud history of campaigning, from Help for Heroes to Jabs Army, Who Cares Wins and over 50 years of working in partnership with charities, our campaigns have helped change Britain for the better.
“Working with our readers, The Sun has helped to bring about new legislation on domestic abuse, provided beds in refuges, closed harmful loopholes in the law and empowered survivors of abuse to come forward and seek help. We will continue to campaign for good causes on behalf of our readers in 2023.”
Addressing the backlash to his column in a tweet, Clarkson said he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt”, but stopped short of an actual apology.
“Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it,” he claimed. “In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people.
“I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”
Clarkson’s column came in the wake of the second and final batch of episodes of the Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan.
In these episodes, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claim that Prince Harry was “blocked” from seeing his grandmother, the Queen, and that Prince William “screamed and shouted” at his brother after he announced his intention to move abroad with his wife.
Meghan also spoke at length about feeling targeted by the British media, which led to her experiencing suicidal feelings.