Nadine Dorries: 'This Morning cannot survive the Phillip Schofield scandal'

This Morning cannot survive in its current form, according to TalkTV presenter Nadine Dorries MP.

The former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said ITV executives need to be held to account if the rumours of a toxic culture at the daytime programme are true.

ITV has instructed a barrister to carry out an external review of the facts following Phillip Schofield’s departure from the show, amid claims of a cover up.

Nadine said: "It's a stale format with the same presenters and so much is questionable about the entire culture at This Morning.

“A culture grows, it becomes toxic, and is protected until something gives, and it's usually a whistle-blower. I've spoken to people who worked on the program over a number of years, and they all tell the same story."

Schofield, 61, resigned from the broadcaster last week and was dropped by his talent agency after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague.

Holly Willoughby, is due to return to the show on Monday after the half-term break, having taken an early holiday after news of Schofield’s departure emerged.

ITV executives will face the Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee in a televised grilling next week.

Nadine said This Morning should be produced by another broadcaster: "It needs to be taken over by a safe pair of hands the public can trust, because the public have been lied to. There has been duplicity and a cover-up."

This Morning has been plagued by allegations of “toxicity” since Schofield’s exit, with former presenter Eamonn Holmes alleging there was a “total cover-up” over the Schofield affair.

The show’s former resident doctor, Dr Ranj Singh, also hit out at the show’s “toxic” culture, saying he raised concerns about “bullying and discrimination” two years ago when he worked there and afterwards felt like he was “managed out” for whistleblowing.

Nadine said there are "serious problems within the entertainment industry", and men use their positions of power and authority to "behave in a way that is inappropriate and unacceptable."

"It's not just a television programme", she continued, "ITV is a free public service broadcaster, it has responsibilities - both ethical and moral, and it has standards it has to uphold.

"Just because it's a television programme doesn't mean it can absolve itself of those responsibilities."

On the affair, ITV said it was “deeply disappointed” by Schofield's “admissions of deceit”, but it had not found “any evidence beyond hearsay and rumour” about the relationship in its own investigation.