Martin Shapland calls Alastair Stewart’s decision to stand down from ITV News “regrettable”

The newsreader stepped down due to a breach of editorial guidelines

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Alastair Stewart arrives for the UK Premiere of Spotlight at The Washington Mayfair on January 20, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

On Thursday 30th January, Alastair Stewart announced he was stepping down from his ITV News presenting duties following “errors of judgement” in his social media use.

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Now, Martin Shapland, the man Stewart appeared to compare to an “angry ape”, has responded to the news.

Addressing Stewart’s announcement on Twitter, Shapland drew attention to other comments the broadcaster had made in addition to quoting the “angry ape” line from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, but called the broadcaster’s departure from ITV “regrettable.”

“In so far as Mr Stewart caused hurt and upset, intentionally or otherwise, in an exchange earlier this month, there is a wider context,” Shapland’s statement reads. “There was not a single post as has been widely reported, but several posts written by Mr Stewart, which have all now been deleted.”

Shapland also added: “An apology and commitment to be more careful about language was all that I would have asked. It is regrettable that he has decided to stand down and I take no pleasure in that. He has evidently gone through an ITN and ITV process and I respect his choice.”

Since Stewart’s departure made national headlines, Shapland has been subject to racist abuse that he details in a separate tweet.

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Stewart described his own posts to social media as a “misjudgement” in a statement today.