ITV bosses are set to go before MPs to be questioned on how they dealt with the controversy surrounding Phillip Schofield on This Morning.
The network’s executives are due to appear before the Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee next Tuesday (June 6).
They had been scheduled to appear before the committee anyway, to discuss the draft Media Bill, but will now also face questions over public concern surrounding how the Phillip Schofield situation was handled, following the assertive claims of a cover up by staff and authourities at the broadcasting channel.
Disgraced Schofield’s name has been dragged through the gutter of sexual improprieties, further tarnished by the murk arising from his brother’s imprisonment for sexual assault on a young boy.
Schofield’s name has been removed from the Prince’s Trust website as an ambassador in the wake of his This Morning scandal.
The axed presenter, who quit ITV altogether last week after admitting he lied about his “unwise” but “not illegal” affair with a younger colleague, was previously listed as an ambassador for the organisation, which was founded by King Charles III in 1976 to help disadvantaged people under 30 in the UK.
The charity has said it is “no longer appropriate” to work with him.
The latest development comes after Eamonn Holmes continues to weigh in on the controversy, hitting out at Schofield as well as his former co-star, Holly Willoughby, and broadcaster ITV.
ITV bosses are now facing questions from MPs over the scandal, with a Westminster source telling iNews that the hearing scheduled for 5 June “is scheduled to be scrutiny of the upcoming Media Bill with executives from ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5”.
The news comes as Schofield recently admitted to having an affair with a “younger male colleague” who was working on the ITV show at the time.
ITV recently confirmed that it investigated “rumours” of a relationship between 61-year-old Schofield and his colleague when they started circulating in 2020.
An ITV spokesperson said: “Further to our statement last night, ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020 ITV investigated.
“Both parties were questioned 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 This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.
“Phillip’s statement yesterday reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship.”
It later emerged that the young man with whom Schofield had an affair and cheating on his wife, was routinely driven to the studios by a can run by the broadcaster.
The revelation has furthered rumours that ITV authorities are more than likely to have been aware of the now axed former presenter’s sexual escapades with the young runner, whom Schofield met while the lad was still at school and only 15.
However, their official claim to be aware of rumours, but nothing concrete, will likely vindicate ITV, if they pursued lines of investigation at the time.
Schofield has been at pains to emphasise that nothing illegal happened, indicating that no sexual encounters occurred until the lad was 18.
A household name for over 20 years, his almighty fall from grace takes him from hero to zero, his entire integrity in tartars following this scandal.