ITV has instructed a barrister to carry out a 'review of the facts' surrounding the departure of Phillip Schofield from This Morning.
ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall wrote a letter to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, DCMS Committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage and Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes explaining the decision.
It read: "You will have seen the significant media coverage concerning Phillip Schofield.
"As you would expect we take the matter extremely seriously and have reviewed our own records over the weekend. These show that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in late 2019/early 2020 ITV investigated."
"Both parties were questioned then and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours, as did Phillip’s then agency YMU."
"In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on the This Morning and wider Daytime team and were not provided with, and did not find any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour."
"Given the ongoing rumours, we continued to ask questions of both parties, who both continued to deny the rumours, including as recently as this month. There has been a lot of inaccuracy in the reporting so I thought it would be useful to set out some facts.”
The letter went on to say that the ITV employee who Schofield had an affair with was 'aged 19 when he first did work experience at This Morning in 2015' before successfully applying for a job as a runner on the show when he was 20.
It went on to say that he moved to Loose Women in 2019 and noted that he left the broadcaster in 2021.
Dame McCall said ITV had 'offered him our support throughout this period and indeed are still doing so', and said that he didn't want to be named.
She went on to write that 'made assurances to us and his agency which he now acknowledges were untrue' and said ITV believed their approach to be 'reasonable and proportionate at the time, saying they believed they 'did not have any grounds to mount any other sort of investigation'.
The letter made reference to other allegations of a 'toxic culture' and said ITV was 'fully committed' to ensuring that anyone who had concerns could come forward.
In the letter Dame McCall said they'd found 'no evidence of bullying or discrimination' following an external review carried out because of comments from Dr Ranj Singh.
It went on to say that ITV had now appointed a barrister to 'carry out an external review to establish the facts' of the Schofield incident.Featured Image Credit: ITV