Pressure had mounted on Morgan since he made the comments on Monday’s edition of the show, which followed the airing of Meghan and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in the US on Sunday night.
An ITV spokesperson said: “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain. ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
Decision to quit follows Ofcom launching investigation after receiving more than 41,000 complaints
It brings the controversial host’s time on the breakfast show to an end after six years.
Morgan said he “didn’t believe a word” the duchess had told Oprah Winfrey in an interview.
Ofcom had received more than 41,000 complaints about his behaviour by Tuesday evening, prompting the broadcasting regulator to launch an investigation into whether the comments broke the UK broadcasting code relating to harm and offence.
Within a couple of hours, ITV released a statement saying: “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain. ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
The remarks prompted a backlash, and during Tuesday’s programme Morgan addressed the furore. He said: “When we talked about this yesterday, I said as an all-encompassing thing I don’t believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview, and I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said.
“But let me just state on the record my position about mental illness and on suicide. These are clearly extremely serious things that should be taken extremely seriously, and if someone is feeling that way they should get the treatment and help they need every time.”
“It was all happening just because I was breathing,” Meghan said, breaking down in tears during the interview, which was broadcast on ITV on Monday night. “I just didn’t want to be alive any more. That was a clear, real, frightening and constant thought.”
On the same show, however, Morgan stormed off set after a discussion about Meghan with his colleague Alex Beresford. The weather presenter defended the couple, telling Morgan: “I understand you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one, and she cut you off. She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has but yet you continue to trash her.”
Morgan got up and stormed out of the studio, saying: “OK, I’m done with this, sorry, no, can’t do this.” Beresford called his behaviour “pathetic” and “diabolical”, while co-host, Susanna Reid, was forced to send the show to an early break.
Beresford later tweeted of the discussion, in which he had also shared some of his own experiences of racism: “I wish I had the privilege to sit on the fence. In order for me to do that I would have to strip myself of my identity and that’s not something I can do. It’s not any of our places to pick apart claims of racism in order to make us to feel more comfortable.”
ITV’s chief executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, subsequently said the row was not “manufactured”.
McCall added that ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, Kevin Lygo, had been in discussion with Morgan in recent days regarding his coverage of the Harry and Meghan interview.
She said Good Morning Britain was a balanced show, adding: “ITV has many voices and we try and represent many voices every day. It’s not about one opinion.”
John Lewis (Analysis Editor Newspresslive )