This Morning viewers were taken aback yesterday when, while interviewing PM David Cameron, the show’s co-host Phillip Schofield handed the leader of the Tory party a list which contained the names of MPs who are alleged to have been involved in paedophilic activity…
Saying that he’d found the names after searching the internet for only a matter of “minutes” Phillip inadvertently flashed the names on the card to the camera before Mr Cameron took possession of it, warning, “I’ve heard all sorts of names being bandied around…
“And what then tends to happen is, of course, everyone sits around and speculates about people. Some of whom are alive, some of whom are dead.”
He added, “I do think it’s very important that anyone who’s got any information about any paedophile no matter how high up in the country or whether they are alive or dead, go to the police…
“There is a danger, if we’re not careful, that this can turn into a sort of witch-hunt, particularly against people who are gay.”
The Daily Star reports that ITV is now facing legal action over the gaffe, for which Phillip has apologized.
He said, “If any viewer was able to identify anyone listed I would like to apologise and stress that was never my intention.
“I was not accusing anyone of anything and it is essential that it is understood I would never be part of any kind of witch hunt.”
Phillip passed the card to Mr Cameron as he was quizzing him over claims that a number of Tory MPs had abused youngsters in the Bryn Estyn children’s home in Wales.
Tory MP Stuart Andrew, who was formerly a councillor for Wrexham where the children’s home was located, said, “Given the serious nature of this whole situation and the real complexity in terms of making sure these victims have the confidence to come forward, I thought it was a very cheap stunt to hand a list to the PM on a TV programme.”
His fellow Tory MP Rob Wilson said, “Some of us have been painstakingly trying to get to the bottom of these allegations about Jimmy Savile and others for months in a responsible and diligent way.
“It is very unhelpful for celebrities to ambush the Prime Minister and reveal information that is not in the public domain for very good reason.
“I am now concerned that by doing this ITV has, albeit inadvertently, broken Ofcom rules that people implicated in this way must be given a right to reply to allegations in advance.’’
Here’s a reminder of the moment Phillip handed the names to the PM…
What’s your opinion about this story? Was Phillip in the wrong for “ambushing” Cameron in this manner?