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Phillip Schofield: Ex-This Morning star Dr Ranj Singh criticises ‘toxic culture’ at ITV show and claims he was ‘managed out’ | Ents & Arts News

Former This Morning star Dr Ranj Singh has spoken out in the wake of the Phillip Schofield controversy and hit out at the “toxic culture” at the ITV daytime show.

He claimed he was managed out after taking his concerns to Emma Gormley, the head of ITV Daytime.

“I was on the show for 10 years and I genuinely loved and valued working there,” he said in a post on Twitter

“However, over time I grew increasingly worried about things behind the scenes and how people, including myself, were being treated.

“I didn’t know the truth about what was going on with Phillip [sic], but I do know the issues with TM [This Morning] go far beyond him. It takes more than one person to create a culture.”

Dr Ranj said he “did what I thought was right” and made a complaint about This Morning editor Martin Frizzell’s behaviour, adding “especially given that my job is to look after people’s wellbeing and I had been heavily involved in diversity, anti-bullying and mental health projects across the channel”.

“I then found myself being used less and less,” he said.

“I even took my concerns directly to the top of ITV: the culture at This Morning had become toxic, no longer aligned with ITV values, and I felt like because I whistle-blew I was managed out.

“But as history and experience have taught us, things like bullying and discrimination are very hard to prove, particularly in hindsight and when the ‘people in power’ control the narrative. As we’ve seen, no review or investigation is foolproof.

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‘No mistakes’ were made says ITV boss

“I haven’t worked on the show since… and I’m not the only one who has spoken up or experienced similar,” he added.

“That was two years ago and, frankly, it still hurts. The whole process was pretty heart-breaking and even affected my mental health. But I’m happy to say I’ve found my feet again, know my worth and have found my tribe.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield

He continued: “There are some good people in TV, but we need to be brave and stand up to those who aren’t. Even if it’s scary as hell, we have to do the right thing otherwise nothing will change. I sincerely hope something good comes from all this.”

He also added in the post’s caption that “there is so much more” he could say.

An ITV spokesperson said: “We are sorry to read Dr Ranj’s post today.

“At ITV we are fully committed to providing every opportunity for anyone who works with us to raise any concern or comments they may have.

“Following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, we appointed an external and independent advisor to carry out a review. This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.”

Several television personalities including Denise van Outen, Laura Whitmore, Carol Vorderman and former Loose Women panellist Saira Khan left messages of support on his Instagram post with the same statement.

Schofield controversy latest:
ITV says it has ‘no plans’ to axe This Morning

Timeline of departure and rumours of rift with co-host Holly

An ITV spokesperson earlier told Sky News they carried out an external review following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, and it “found no evidence to support the complaint of bullying”.

Dr Ranj starting working on This Morning in 2016 and now appears on BBC’s Morning Live.

Weekend of difficult revelations

His statement comes as ITV confirmed that Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will present the show tomorrow after days of revelations about ex-presenter Phillip Schofield‘s behaviour and the culture on set.

Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary
Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary

Last Saturday, Schofield announced he would be leaving This Morning after 20 years at the helm following reports his relationship with co-host Holly Willoughby had become strained.

Less than a week later, Schofield released a statement admitting an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a “much younger man” and announced he was stepping down from ITV completely.

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Dermot O’Leary asked about Phillip Schofield

He also admitted he lied about the affair to ITV bosses, his agents and the media, resulting in the channel saying it was “deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit” and his management company YMU Group dropping him.

ITV confirmed on Saturday they had investigated “rumours of a relationship” in 2020 but the pair repeatedly denied the affair.

Analysis: Admission should kill Schofield’s career – but will star pals stand by him?

Ms Willoughby said the admission was “very hurtful” while other TV personalities including Eamonn Holmes and Andrea Catherwood hit out at ITV executives.

ITV’s Director of Television Kevin Lygo told Sky News on Sunday that “no mistakes” were made in the 2020 investigation while newspapers reported that the channel was considering axing the programme.

Doctor took her own life after working in hospital with ‘toxic environment’ | UK News

The father of a junior doctor who took her own life says action must be taken to change a “toxic environment” at the hospital where she worked.

Dr Ravi Kumar, who also works for the NHS, was speaking ahead of the publication of a report into allegations of bullying at the University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Trust, one of the largest hospital trusts in England.

The report has also examined claims of threats of disciplinary action against whistleblowers.

Dr Vaishnavi Kumar killed herself in June last year. The 35-year-old had been working at the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Hospital Birmingham.

Her parents say she left a note before taking a lethal overdose.

“She wrote a letter,” her father told Sky News. “She very clearly mentioned that she was doing this because of the QE hospital.”

After taking the overdose she waited three hours to call an ambulance. Her father says that when paramedics arrived “she said under no circumstances was she going to the QE hospital”.

Dr Kumar says his daughter was “bright, fun-loving and compassionate” but things changed soon after she began working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“She started facing this toxic environment and she started getting a bit more worried and tearful and sometimes when she was coming back from work will say that people are belittling her and demeaning her.

“She used to get very stressed with some consultants when she was doing the handover because of the way they used to treat her during the handover, laughing at her for treatments and things like that.

“And she being a very senior registrar and also quite experienced and well-liked by all the others, that was becoming… it was taking a toll on her.”

Dr Ravi Kumar blames the hospital's 'toxic' environment for his daughter's death
Dr Ravi Kumar blames the hospital’s ‘toxic’ environment for his daughter’s death

‘Each day is a struggle’

Dr Kumar says he hopes the Trust acts on the findings of the report.

“The first thing is to realise, accept that this has happened. The second thing is to find out why it has happened and action be taken” he said.

“It makes me angry and at the same time worried about other junior doctors who are going to follow her.

“Our lives stopped on the 22 June and it’s very hard. Each day is a struggle.

“Now my main worry is to stop it happening to others and that is why I want to bring this forward so people realise that there is a toxic atmosphere”.

The review into UHB has been chaired by Professor Mike Bewick, a former deputy medical director at NHS England, who is now an independent consultant.

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Trust ‘requires improvement’ according to 2021 CQC rating

The Trust employs more than 20,000 people. As well as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham it also operates Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, and Solihull Hospital.

In 2021 the Care Quality Commission rated the Trust as “requires improvement” and highlighted concerns about patient safety.

A spokesperson for University Hospitals Birmingham said: “Dr Vaishnavi Kumar was a much loved and respected doctor, who was popular with colleagues and patients alike. Her unexpected death was a tragedy and our heartfelt condolences remain with Vaishnavi’s family.

“We have reflected on our response to Vaishnavi’s death, have learnt lessons from this, and are acting on them.

“Dr Kumar wants his daughter’s death to result in improvements in the support offered to all doctors in training and to see a change in the culture of the Trust. We are pleased that he has agreed to work with the Trust on this.”

The Trust said it will respond in full to the findings of the report by Professor Bewick after it has been published.

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

Still ‘toxic individuals’ in Met Police, ’embarrassed’ commissioner says | UK News

The head of the Metropolitan Police says there are still “toxic individuals” in the force and he feels “embarrassed” by a scathing review that found it is institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.

Sir Mark Rowley described the review by Baroness Louise Casey as “very, very worrying”.

While fully accepting “the diagnosis” of the findings, Sir Mark would not use the term “institutionally racist” to describe the force.

Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday, he told Kay Burley: “We have a real problem here. We have misogyny, homophobia and racism in the organisation.

“We’re absolutely determined to deliver the transformation required.”

He added: “We’re removing officers more quickly. We’re tackling these issues. And meanwhile, day in and day out, I’ve got the officers of the force who are coming forward and they are absolutely determined to tackle this – the vast majority.

“I was embarrassed and angered by this… and we want to make a difference.”

Sir Mark said the recommendations from Baroness Casey “will massively influence thinking and the plans we have ahead to reform the policing in London as we strengthen our work in neighbourhoods, as we improve the response to victims and as we tackle the toxic individuals in the organisation“.

He admitted that “maybe” the Met has got “toxic individuals” of whom the force has “concerns about their predatory behaviour”.

“We’ve got people suspended. We’ve got people under investigation,” he said.

He said he will give a full update on the work to reform the Met by the end of the month.

Met Police needs ‘complete overhaul’

Baroness Louise Casey, who spent a year investigating the Met Police in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by Couzens, concluded in her review that Britain’s largest force needs a “complete overhaul” and may need to be broken up.

Her 363-page report also found evidence of widespread bullying, racist attitudes and “deep-seated homophobia” in the force.

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Met Police receives damning report

Read more:
Met Police is ‘institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic’, review finds
Met Police commissioner says ‘we’ve let Londoners down’ after damning review
Met Police officer ‘repeatedly raped’ by colleague: Key findings of review

In response, prime minister Rishi Sunak said work was already happening in police forces to regain people’s trust.

Rishi Sunak told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday that the Police Commissioner is “committed to doing that”, adding “there are already some changes underway at the moment”.

He said: “It’s not just in London, across the country we’ve changed the guidance for police forces, for how they vet new police officers.

“Currently in the process of all police forces are checking all their police officers again against the police database, and they’re all being inspected by the independent inspector of police forces to make sure that that’s all happening.”

Baroness Louise Casey carried out the review
Baroness Louise Casey carried out the review

Further unacceptable cases ‘will come to light’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he accepts “full responsibility” for the review’s findings as the boss of the police service.

He told Sky News’s Kay Burley that Met’s Commissioner Sir Mark has his “confidence” and that he had lost confidence in the former Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick.

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Sadiq Khan: “I accept full responsibility”

Mr Khan said what Baroness Casey is demanding is a “complete overhaul” of the Met Police.

On Sir Mark not accepting the full findings of the report in his interview with Burley, Mr Khan said: “I fully accept the report. I think the police service is usually racist, it’s usually homophobic, it’s usually misogynistic, and that’s sort of the complete overhaul. So the commissioner should look, again at accepting that.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said in a statement shared on Twitter that she is “confident that under Sir Mark’s leadership, progress is being made to reform standards and deliver common sense policing for all Londoners”.

However, she admitted there is “much more to do and the task of rooting out unfit officers means that further unacceptable cases will come to light”.

Meanwhile, Cabinet minister Mark Harper told Sky News on Tuesday that Baroness Casey’s review into the Metropolitan Police is “a very shocking and troubling report”.

He added that “Londoners have quite understandably lost a lot of confidence because of all of the terrible events that have taken place”.

“So the Commissioner has a very large job of work to do,” he said.

Review is a ‘wake-up call’

Shadow policing minister Sarah Jones told Sky News that Baroness Casey has “left no stone unturned” and that the Met Police “cannot police itself”.

She said it is a “wake-up call for us all”.

Ms Jones said Sir Mark needs to accept the full findings of the report and “fundamentally really change the cultures and the structures within the Met”.

“There are an array of recommendations that go to the very heart of what policing is about,” she said.

“I think fundamentally what Louise is saying is that policing attracts the best of humanity, but it will also attract predators and people who do harm.

“And in the same way that we have changed systems in education or in medicine, we need to do the same in policing.

“We need to make sure there aren’t predatory people allowed to exist in the Met and to continue, operate and be Metropolitan Police officers.”

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Community needs to be put back ‘at heart of policing’

Also reacting to the review was Nusrit Mehtab, former Scotland Yard superintendent, who described Baroness Casey’s report as “damning”, adding she has “held a mirror into the workforce”.

“And what you see is that they’re institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic. And it’s a police service that has lost its way. It is shocking and devastating for the people of London.”

She added that if the head of the Metropolitan Police Service will not accept the review’s recommendations, then an “independent body should be brought in to dismantle” the force.

“It’s a big beast and they do specialisms very well, in terms of putting investing money in the frontline policing, but neighbourhood policing has been neglected. So those are the things that they really do need to invest in and specialisms need to be hived off,” Ms Mehtab said.

“Police should just be focusing on local policing, neighbourhood policing, and they need to put community back at the heart of policing.”