ITV News anchor Alastair Stewart has stepped back from presenting duties after he was found to have breached its editorial guidelines online.
Rachel Corp, acting editor of ITV News, told staff today that the presenter was stepping down over “errors of judgement” in his “use of social media”.
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Stewart said: “It was a misjudgement that I regret, but it’s been a privilege to bring the news to households throughout the UK for the past 40 years.”
The 67-year-old has since deleted his Twitter account.
ITN has not revealed what Stewart did wrong, but a tweet in which he quoted Shakespeare at a black Twitter user, which included the line “his glassy essence – like an angry ape”, has resurfaced online.
He also rowed with former Sky News political correspondent Lewis Goodall last month about the media’s performance during the general election.
In the message to staff, Michael Jermey, director of news and current affairs at ITV, added: “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.”
Stewart was most recently working as a part-time freelance presenter. primarily appearing on ITV’s lunchtime and weekend news programmes.
His career began at Southern Television in 1976 before he moved to ITN, spending three years at Channel 4 News before embarking on a long career at ITV News.
He was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 2006 for services to broadcasting and charity.
ITN chief executive Anna Mallett said: “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.”
Reacting to the news on Twitter, ITV News at Ten presenter Julie Etchingham said: “So sad to learn this – we have worked on many big stories together and Al is a trusted friend and guide to many of us.”
ITV News royal editor Chris Ship said: “Alastair was always a joy to work with. And a good friend to many people in the ITV newsroom.”
Picture: ITV News