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.
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.”
Thank you to those who have been in touch in the last few days about Alastair Stewart. I apologise for not getting back to media enquiries more quickly in particular.
I am not planning to make on or off the record comments beyond the statement below and a few clarifying tweets pic.twitter.com/lK1Q18MoyQ
— Martin Shapland (@MShapland) January 30, 2020
Since Stewart’s departure made national headlines, Shapland has been subject to racist abuse that he details in a separate tweet.
Stewart described his own posts to social media as a “misjudgement” in a statement today.