It comes after ITV news said Alastair Stewart, 67, is no longer a part of the team due to “errors of misjudgement in Alastair’s use of social media”. According to reports, the broadcaster had previously been warned by ITN bosses about his inappropriate Twitter activity.
According to sources at the news organisations, it has been claimed his departure from ITV was because of a series of ill-judged remarks which breached editorial guidelines.
According to The Mirror, one insider said: “Alastair was already drinking in the last chance saloon over his social media comments and this was simply the final straw. This is not about one Tweet that has become public, but multiple breaches. It’s a real shame.”
The source said there had been a “sustained exchange” of inappropriate messages between Alastair and Martin Shapland, a policy manager.
They added: “This is not the first time he’s been spoken to about the way he conducts himself on social media. The suggestion that he’s lost his job over one Tweet is simply wrong.”
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It comes after reports suggested Alastair was asked to step down from his role after an exchange on the micro-blogging site.
It has been reported he used a Shakespearean quotation from Measure to Measure during a spat about the monarchy with Martin in which the statement referenced “an angry ape”.
The veteran broadcaster has since said in a statement: “It was a misjudgement which I regret but it’s been a privilege to bring the news to households throughout the UK for the past 40 years.”
Michael Jeremy, Director of News and Current Affairs at ITV has said: “Alastair has been a long-standing, familiar figure to viewers of ITV News, both reporting and presenting with distinction. We wish him the very best for the future.”
ITN’s Chief Executive Anna Mallett added: “We would like to recognise Alastair’s contribution as one of the UK’s foremost journalists and TV presenters and to thank him for his commitment to delivering high-quality broadcast news over many years.”
His official Twitter account has since been deactivated.
Express.co.uk have contacted Alastair Stewart’s representatives and ITV for a comment.
The news anchor first joined ITN in 1980 and has remained a main newsreader on the show for more than 35 years.
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In 1986, he was a presenter and reporter with ITN’s Channel 4 News, and also presented ITN’s News at 5.45pm.
The presenter was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting and charity in 2006.
Recently, he has worked as a part-time freelance presenter and mainly fronted the lunchtime news and weekend programmes.
Following the news of his departure, many Twitter users including his colleague Mary Nightingale, shared their sadness.
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She tweeted: “Very sad about the departure of #AlastairStewart.
“He was a good friend and mentor to me when I started at Carlton TV, and we worked together for more than 27 years. I will miss him.”
Sky News presenter Anna Botting said: “Alastair hope you can still read these messages – you’ve always been so supportive and encouraging…for which I am very grateful.
“I share the sadness at your departure and wish you all the very best. #AlastairStewart.”
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