ITV CEO Carolyn McCall Called to Give Evidence to Parliamentary Committee Over Phillip Schofield Affair

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall has been called to give evidence to the Parliamentary committee for Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) over an affair between former ITV anchor Phillip Schofield and a young employee.

Caroline Dinenage, chair of the CMS Committee, requested McCall’s presence in a letter published today (June 1) in which she said Schofield’s affair – which he dramatically admitted in a statement to the Daily Mail last Saturday – raises “fundamental issues about safeguarding and complaint handling both at ITV and more widely across the media.”

On Saturday, after years of rumors, Schofield admitted to having a relationship with a young runner on “This Morning,” the show he had anchored for over twenty years. Schofield, who said the affair was “unwise but not illegal,” was immediately dropped by his agency following the admission. The anchor also parted ways with ITV.

Yesterday, McCall wrote to Dinenage, Culture secretary Lucy Frazer and Melanie Dawes, chief executive of media regulator Ofcom, to say that circumstances surrounding Schofield’s affair – including the response by ITV – was set to be examined in an external review, to be conducted by lawyer Jane Mulcahy.

For a full-time line of the Schofield saga, click here.

Read Caroline Dinenage’s full letter below:

Dear Dame Carolyn,

Thank you for your letter of 31 May 2023 setting out ITV’s response to the reports of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and a young employee on the ‘This Morning’ programme.

The Committee regards the media industry’s duty of care towards its staff a matter of the highest importance. Whilst the recent coverage focuses on the Schofield case, it also raises fundamental issues about safeguarding and complaint handling both at ITV and more widely across the media. These issues should, particularly in the case of Public Service Broadcasters, be open to scrutiny.

The public must have confidence in the robustness of Public Service Broadcasters’ safeguarding procedures. Whilst these are issues that we want to discuss first with ITV, we will also consider them in our regular scrutiny sessions with other Public Service Broadcasters, including the BBC later this month and Channel 4 later in the year.

With this in mind, we look forward to meeting with you at 10am on Wednesday 14th June so that we can raise these issues with you directly. This will enable the session previously scheduled with ITV and other commercial Public Service Broadcasters on 6th June to focus on its intended purpose of scrutinising the Government’s draft Media Bill.

It is incumbent upon all media organisations to demonstrate how seriously they take their responsibilities and your appearance before the Committee will enable ITV to do so.

Kind regards,

Caroline Dinenage, Chair of the CMS Committee

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